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Mixing Different Colored Shrimps


kammaroon
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I've seen locally of sales of mixed coloured cherry (neocaridinas) shrimps for a "skittles" tanks. I was wondering what colour offsprings you may get. Would a yellow shrimp and a blue shrimp, for example, have a chance of producing a green one, like mixing paint? Or would it be more likely to get yellow or green, and even brown, reverting back to the wild type?

 

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I bet I was one of the wildtype hold outs. Skittles packs are for people who are not able to decide, they sell well but aren't a viable strain you can maintain over time. They do look fun tho!

stop right here if you either understand genetics already or aren't interested in them!

Guppies can cross and at this point not completely revert in a generation, and I suspect the same is partly true of shrimp, but any cool genetic mutations generated from a skittles breeding scheme would have to be culled HARD to develop into a new color strain. Most coloration of these types (bright colors not found in wild populations) result from genetic knockouts of one type of pigment but not another. Typically these are recessive traits, with a hierarchy of layered partial dominance.

So as an example, pretend the following (because this is how it works in other species but I'm not a neocaridina expert by any stretch):

Wild type is all color genes on.

Red is red on, blue off, yellow on but not showing.

Blue is blue on red off, yellow on but not showing

Yellow is both red and blue off, so yellow shows

White would be everything off.

Now if you cross red and blue you are back to Brown, say. If you cross blue and yellow, you get blue first, but then a mix after, with less and less yellow over time. Etc.

Now these are more complicated than this really, because as we know there are MANY shades of blue, etc. And I don't know at all which is dominant to which, though digging in the literature might yield that. But typically these are recessive traits that we say are "rescued" when the recessive is crossed with a non-recessive. So ultimately, without direction, you get back to wildtype. Mainly because those traits are dominant due to eons of selection pressure from depredation. 

 

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2 hours ago, Daniel said:

I can't find the old posts where we debated this last summer. There general consensus was that you will get a little of everything. There were a couple of holdouts though who thought 'wildtype'. I think that was @ange?

 From what I've gathered, both from research and watching my shrimp, they're both right.  The first generation will produce new colors and/or patterns, along with some clear and browns, but each successive generation will have fewer shrimp with color and more wild types.

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7 minutes ago, Tory said:

I think others have already explained that it's not like mixing paint for the most part. Just wanted to add something I found interesting - I heard from someone that they started their colony with only red cherries but didn't cull at all and still ended up with almost entirely wild types. 

Yeah it is really hard to undo the fitness nature has baked in over countless generations. It takes applying a hard selection pressure of your own. In dogs they speculate that the "ancestral" or wildtype dog is mid sized, with upright ears, a medium length coat in a yellow-brown shade, because that is what mutts commonly revert to.

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Edited by Brandy
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Just now, Brandy said:

Yeah it is really hard to undo the fitness nature has baked in over countless generations. It takes applying a hard selection pressure of your own. In dogs they speculate that the "ancestral" or wildtype dog is mid sized, with upright ears, a medium length coat in a yellow-brown shade, because that is what mutts commonly revert to.

Oh wow that's interesting. I had never thought about the reverting to wild type thing in relation to dogs, but you're right mutts do tend to have those characteristics.

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1 hour ago, Tory said:

I think others have already explained that it's not like mixing paint for the most part. Just wanted to add something I found interesting - I heard from someone that they started their colony with only red cherries but didn't cull at all and still ended up with almost entirely wild types. 

I'm not surprised.  I've seen recommendations to cull around 15% to keep the colors.  I know when I was starting my red colony I'd often cull 10 or more shrimp per week, but now a year or so later I don't need to cull nearly as much.

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