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  • #16
    I don't know if anyone else is as confused as I am...but are we still discussing inbreeding in geckos, or in people? Because you can't exactly compare human genetics to gecko genetics. Pick up any medical textbook, and you'll find plenty of evidence to support "medical heartbreak stories" when it comes to people. Having studied biology myself in school, inbreeding is proven to cause numerous issues in people. Charles Darwin himself demonstrated that.

    But as for crested geckos? Myself, I've never seen a documented case of "medical heartbreak" when it comes to inbreeding (I think this is what WillC was referring to). Doesn't mean it doesn't exist; I can find examples of issues related to inbreeding in both certain species of snakes and other lizards, so it stands to reason that the possibility exists for crested geckos as well. If everyone chose to inbreed their geckos, then in time, issues would likely start becoming apparent because of the limited gene pool and the increased prevalence of negative recessive traits. Hence why, at the very least, first generation inbreeding is discouraged.
    ~Cassi

    www.facebook.com/NaturesAuraPhotography

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    • #17
      The breeder that the OP mentioned is well known in the community for his support of line breeding.

      I haven't been breeding geckos for as long as some, but I do have a degree in biology and am making a career out of studying biology; vertebrate physiology in fact. Knowing what I have learned and studied through the years has made it where I go out of my way to keep my bloodlines genetically diverse.

      As for the issue on human genetics verses gecko genetics they are most certainly comparable. We are both vertebrates, and therefore share as much as 90% of our genetic information. The processes that govern inheritance of traits and gene expression work exactly the same in geckos as they do in humans: inbred animals will be more closely related, they will share more alleles in common, the chance of a recessive, detrimental trait appearing is more common in the offspring and subsequent generations of closely related subjects.

      Inbreeding and line breeding don't necessarily produce detrimental traits: most of the fantastic, exotic, sought after crested morphs were achieved by line breeding(many by the breeder the OP mentioned). The same is true for ball pythons, leopard geckos, and modern dog breeds.

      But each of these three examples: dog breeds, ball pythons, and leopard geckos all show evidence of the negative aspects of line breeding as well. Dalmatians have a higher chance of deafness, early blindness and neural disorders than other breeds. Turns out the alleles that cause white coats also effect sensory organ development.

      Spider morph ball pythons and any morph that carries the spider allele have the potential to exhibit "star-gazing" and wobble traits that if bad enough can be fatal to the animal.

      Enigma leopard geckos exhibit something similar to the wobble behavior of spider ball pythons: head shaking, trembling, circling behavior and other neurological disorders.

      Each of these three species has been "domesticated" and selectively bred for many many years (hundreds in the case of the dog). That has allowed plenty of time for these negative mutations to crop up and appear in the breeding. Rhacodactylus geckos have only been bred for 20 years. That is nowhere near enough time for such astounding genetic defects to have been revealed.

      One of the greatest things that ball pythons and leopard geckos has given us is not hypo bell, enigma, whatevers or super bumble pastel genetic stripe who knows whats. The greatest thing we have been given is knowledge. Knowledge of how to try and prevent such disorders like wobble and enigma from ever becoming established in the Rhacodactylus gene pool by being more careful about selective breeding. We know, because of the previous histories in reptile breeding, that line breeding can potentially result in the development of severe disorders. We have the opportunity to our dead level best to prevent that from happening.

      However, there are some breeders who will consider the creation and establishment of a new morph/color as too valuable to miss out on. I think line breeding certainly has its place: take Patient Zero for example: (although I personally don't think his phenotype is inheritable and is in fact a developmental, somatic mutation). This animal and his offspring should be line bred to determine for sure whether or not his appearance is a simple recessive trait. There is likely no other gecko like him, therefore there are little to no possibilities for crossing.

      But for "normal" geckos? Trying to get a pinstripe from 95% pinning to a full 100%, trying to get 6 stripes of brilliant red on the back and sides of a gargoyle gecko, or trying to produce the ultimate super Dalmatians with large numbers of big, ink-spots? I see line breeding and in breeding in those instances as cutting corners and a willingness to sacrifice the potential future health of a species for the sake of a quick turnover. Not everyone might feel as I do; and he or she is most certainly entitled to their opinion. But, I try my best to be conscious about my breeding choices because I want long term health in the gargoyle gecko species as a whole as much as I want super blotches. And there are quite a few awesome super blotched gargs out there who's blood I don't have represented in my colony. So, I am going to bite the bullet and wait and search for the perfect blotch female to add to my collection (PM if you have one available) instead of breeding my super blotch, Cumin, back to her blotch father. I could do that: I could do that and I migjt have some pretty awesome blotches. But I could also have just taken one more step towards the gargoyle gecko version of star gazing and wobble head.

      There is no way to say that breeding some other unrelated blotch instead of father to daughter would not result in the same potential step towards a severe disorder, but I can say that the statistical chance of that happening is MUCH smaller when I breed two unrelated animals, and although I'm not a gambler, I'm willing to bank on those odds.

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      • #18
        Since line breeding is so frowned upon in the community can I assume no one here owns geckos from the breeder mentioned in the previous post? Especially if he is so well known for it?
        www.incrediblegeckos.com
        https://www.facebook.com/incrediblegeckos

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Incredible Geckos View Post
          Since line breeding is so frowned upon in the community can I assume no one here owns geckos from the breeder mentioned in the previous post? Especially if he is so well known for it?
          I used to have a dalmatian male that was produced by him (I didn't buy it from him personally, but purchased it after it had gone through two owners already); I was careful to pick out a mate for that boy that wasn't related to any of his breeder's dalmatian stock. The breeder has quality animals and a lot of people purchase from him; but if I were to have another of his animals (I sold the male dal last year) I would again be very careful picking out a mate to make sure they were absolutely not related because of my concerns listed above. I avoid purchasing directly from the breeder in question because I don't agree with his practices, but I'm not against owning his stock if I think its useful for my own breeding projects.

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          • #20
            Could someone please pm me with the name/company of the breeder in question? I feel out of the loop.
            1.1.4 Crested Geckos
            0.1.0 Boxador (1/2 Boxer-1/2 Black Lab)
            0.1.0 Girlfriend who likes my geckos but doesn't understand the obsession.

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            • #21
              Line breedig has it's ups and downs and has to be done with care. It's being done with Patient Zero here on Pangea to hopefully gain the pied ball trait in Crested geckos. There has to be careful monitoring done with this and careful consideration of how far down the line do you breed.

              Now Patient Zero is only one example where line breeding seems to be acceptable, because we are seeing if a gene is playing a role, and it is being conducted by someone who has the means to care for the offspring and vet bills if something were to go astray from whats expected.

              I understand that you may have some amazing geckos, but because you are breeding back you could lead to disease and numerous health problems that may not affect the first line of offspring but the next. Also without added genetic traits from other lines you may be breeding two amazing geckos together, but get some very bland offspring, because of all of the recessive traits that now have extra chance to shine. Always try to put up adds for trades, loans, or wtb, on pangea most people here at least take a look and may be able to help you out. (added note nursing student and science major).

              Ultimately the choice is up to you, and I don't mean to throw more information and opinions down your throat thats why I gave two sides. Pick what you think is best for your geckos, hope any of this information helps.
              1.4.0 Leopard Geckos; 6.4.1.4 Crested Geckos; 0.1.0.1 Mourning Geckos; 0.1.0 Creamsicle Corn Snakes;
              0.1 Hedgehog; 0.2 Mice; 1.4 Felines; 1.1 Canines

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              • #22
                Originally posted by insaneglitchx View Post
                Could someone please pm me with the name/company of the breeder in question? I feel out of the loop.
                One of the forum's main rules is not discussing specific breeders.
                -Will
                My Facebook
                ôResentment is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die." Carrie Fisher

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by ShadowKorin View Post
                  As for the issue on human genetics verses gecko genetics they are most certainly comparable. We are both vertebrates, and therefore share as much as 90% of our genetic information. The processes that govern inheritance of traits and gene expression work exactly the same in geckos as they do in humans: inbred animals will be more closely related, they will share more alleles in common, the chance of a recessive, detrimental trait appearing is more common in the offspring and subsequent generations of closely related subjects.....
                  Shadow, Thank you for presenting both sides of the discussion so honestly and for stating your opinion eloquently. Genetic questions are sometimes muddied by non-Mendelian pathways (mitochondrial DNA, etc.) in which traits may be passed down via the maternal side only. I doubt anybody knows all the interplay of Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetics in any species, let alone in geckos. Some of what I learned in a 500 level college genetics class twenty-some years ago is undoubtedly dated now, but the principles you describe still apply. Breeders should choose from broad genetic stock unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise (Patient Zero), and only when adequate resources are available to manage the consequences humanely.

                  For all the discussion of exotic morphs, what concerns me most as a gecko owner is having happy-healthy geckos smiling in their terrariums and during out-of-glass visits... not some challenging ethical veterinary dilemma. [I will refrain from linking threads that discuss possible (hypothetical) genetic disease linkages. These are people's beloved pets; let's show them some compassion.]

                  One point alluded to above is the unique responsibility we have in caring for a species that may be endangered. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, captive crested geckos may represent the only gene pool for this wonderful species. I'm not sure how this notion relates to other species such as ball pythons or leopard geckos, but I think it warrants some mention.

                  I don't know what the O.P. will ultimately decide to do. Just, please, be careful and remain ethical. I have a sense that's what you are about by seeking community opinions. I greatly respect your decision to gather feedback and considering the information wisely before acting.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by WillC View Post
                    One of the forum's main rules is not discussing specific breeders.
                    I know that that was a very questionable post. However, my interpretation of that rule is to never ask about a specific breeder or company, or even allude to a certain individual. I didn't mention anyone by name, as I had no idea who it was. The rule also does not mention that discussion regarding such a topic cannot take place in a pm, which is what I asked about. Also, I didn't know who would know the answer, and I didn't want to bother multiple people with pms. For the well being of my pets, I wanted to know who could potentially sell me an inbred animal.
                    1.1.4 Crested Geckos
                    0.1.0 Boxador (1/2 Boxer-1/2 Black Lab)
                    0.1.0 Girlfriend who likes my geckos but doesn't understand the obsession.

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                    • #25
                      From the standpoint of someone who works in the genetic field scientifically, inbreeding is not necessarily the evil it is portrayed to be. For humans, it has significant social stigmas, perhaps for a reason. It does highly reduce genetic diversity within a population, however it can be invaluable when determining which alleles moderate certain functions.

                      The reason why mice (among other animals) are so well understood and yet diverse is because of inbreeding. HOWEVER, by no means does that mean go inbreed your geckos. I really need to emphasize the statistical repetition of inbreeding here - doing it a couple times would yield scientifically irrelevant results. The only way to isolate any potentially responsible gene would be to inbreed over generations - using genotyping or phenotyping to select the offspring to be paired etc.

                      Honestly, in my opinion, if one has no knowledge of the complexity of eukaryotic gene regulation and expression, it's incredibly egocentric to inbreed. Not only would they be lacking the ability to do it in an informing way, they would also be wasting the lives of the study species to the repercussive effects of genetic uniformity.

                      Unless one has the wherewithal, resources, and technology to use it for good (which I just don't see yet), it's best avoided.
                      Kaiden

                      Insect protein-based gecko diet! 28% protein!
                      Black Panther Zoological - also on Facebook

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                      • #26
                        This is a case where looking to other species may be helpful. There are MANY breeds of livestock out there that have been line bred for generations, and many of these breeds are endangered and have limited genetic pools. If you are considering line breeding, here's a book you should purchase and read, published by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy:

                        A Conservation Breeding Handbook
                        By Carolyn Christman and D. Phillip Sponenberg. Explains the importance of livestock and poultry breeds and describes how individual breeders can be stewards of these genetic resources. Soft cover, 136 pages, 8 1/2 X 7, illustrated.

                        http://www.albc-usa.org/store/store-conservation.php
                        www.harleygecko.com : Color, Contrast, Structure
                        Specializing in Harlequins and Pinstripes in Red, Cream and Yellow
                        3.9.20+ crested geckos
                        Harley - my first gecko, retired and spoiled
                        Pickle - unsexed leachie

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