What exactly is a gene shrimp? What is the purpose of a gene shrimp? What is the value of a gene shrimp?
Let’s answer these questions today!
What is a gene shrimp?
A gene shrimp is a shrimp that is of any pattern, but carries certain gene from the previous generation. Still confused? Here is an example that would help you understand it better.
I am sure everyone is familiar with the black king kong shrimp a.k.a Taiwanbee. Back in the past, these shrimps are very fragile and would die easily. In order to strengthen the genetics of this shrimp, some breeders cross a black king kong shrimp with a crystal red/black shrimp.
The offspring from this cross would have a small percentage of Taiwanbees and a huge percentage of crystal red/black shrimps. These crystal red/black shrimps look exactly like the traditional shrimps in your tank but they possess the gene of a Taiwanbee and crystal red/black shrimp. Vice versa, the Taiwanbees also carries the gene of the crystal red/black shrimp.
What is the purpose of these shrimps?
Now that the F2 Taiwanbees from the cross carries crystal red/black gene, they tend to be less fragile as crystal red shrimps are quite hardy as compared to Taiwanbees at that time. The purpose of gene shrimps are countless, but mainly it is to carry certain traits from the parents down to the offspring. That is how pintos and many other shrimps come about now.
Another simple example would be golden eye shrimps. Crossing a pure red/black line with an orange eye tiger would give you an ugly looking shrimp like the one below.
This gene shrimp carries the golden eye genes, crossing it back with the parent would give you a high percentage of offspring with golden eyes as the golden eye trait is being focus here. However none of the offspring from the F1 cross would have golden eyes as black eyes are more dominant. Through generations of refining you would get offsprings like the shrimps in this post.
What is the value of gene shrimp?
To answer this question, it would depend on what you would like to achieve from your breeding pool. Gene shrimp can be use to maximise results in an affordable way. Looking back at this post, it shows the importance of having a good male shrimp. To increase the chances of passing down specific traits to the next generations, using gene shrimps can be more affordable.
Looking at the graph above, the results from gene shrimp would be quite productive as you have 50% offspring that would have golden eyes. Gene shrimps are much cheaper as compared to buying the original shrimps, and with regards to the importance of investing in a good male which you can read here. Male gene shrimps are worthless and breeders would only keep the female gene shrimps.
Some of you might ask why 50% offspring has golden eyes, the answer to that is from this graph.
Golden eye male shrimp carry the traits of having golden eyes represented by a small letter r, while the gene shrimp caries half of the black eye gene and half golden eye gene.
Black eyes is represented with the letter B, golden eyes is represented with the letter R.
A capital letter represents a dominant trait while a small letter represents a recessive traits.
Looking at the graph, that is how I came up with 50% offsprings with golden eyes.
Br would mean that the black genes is more dominant and therefore the color of the eye would be black, but these shrimps carry the golden eye trait in their genetics.
rr would mean that there is no dominant trait and therefore the recessive trait is shown on the appreance of the shrimp.
The graph is deduce theoretically and in reality there might be a slight difference. However, it shouldn’t be that far off. Female gene shrimps are really useful if put to good use. Male ones are mostly useless and don’t worth a lot of money.
I hope this information can further help you plan your breeding colony. If you do have questions, feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.