The following article was written back in 1987 and was published in the IDS bulletin. It deals with the questions being asked pertaining to the color mutations being bred in the Diamond Doves. At the time of this writing the newest color available to US fanciers was the Yellow or Yellow Wing (Canada). Not much genetic work was done or was ongoing at this time. Check out Jeff Downing’s web site and purchase his book on Diamond Doves. It has some information on these mutations and the newer colors now being bred in these beautiful small doves.

Color Mutations in the Diamond Dove
by John Pire
1987 (rewritten 4/2001)

Over the past three years I have been asked many questions pertaining to the different colors being bred in the Diamond Doves. Since this specie was my preference of the many dove species, I was quite interested in the colors also. I made up a form and published it in the ADA, CDA and several major bird publications. The form asked for any information Diamond Dove (DD) fanciers were willing to share. Having read article son Ringneck genetics by Dr. Wilmer Miller in the dove associations bulletins I contacted him with the information I had compiled. I had compiled information on some twenty-six colors or patterns being described by the different fanciers who responded with information.

I sent Dr. Miller the information and asked him for his thoughts and comments. Dr. Miller was very helpful in answering the questions I had posed to him. He also enclosed some information he gave to his students at the Dept of Genetics at the Iowa State University. He also enclosed some charts, which could be followed for the testing of the color mutations. NOTE: these charts are assumptions and have not been proven; further testing and results accurately kept will accurately set these charts as to which color mutants are dominate and recessive.

Question: After reviewing the information on the different colors/patterns can you make any comments as to the inheritance of them?

Answer: More specific analysis would be possible if more detailed information was available. By more specific details I mean: the results of crosses of each mutant form with wild-type (Blue in DD) and those "F1" inter-mated (same single mutant involved) to yield an "F2" or else test crossed to the mutant parent if "F1" are blue or to the "blue" parent if "F1" are mutant type.


Question: Many of the colors and patterns may be variations of the same color or patterns, such as Yellow White Rump, Yellow White Tail; Cinnamon White Rump; Silver or Blue Big Spot could these be considered separate mutants?

Answer: To better understand the situation I need to make some comments to better handle this question. Twenty-six colors or pattern mutations is quite astounding. Many items need to be clarified, such as, are many of the colors that different from each other or are they just shade variations? Does each mutant breed "true" for that mutant for at least five generations? Are there shade or color variations within the same clutch? Many things have to be proven before a mutation can be considered a mutant type. I hope that the colors/patterns can be reduced to a few basic (single) mutations and their interactions to yield other colors or patterns. In Ringneck Doves (Streptopelia risoria) any of four (4) basic color mutants may interact to yield over twelve (12) color types. Example: Peach is a combination of Blond (fawn) with Rosy.

Question: In the quest to produce the "WHITE DIAMOND DOVE" many breeders’ state that as they breed to obtain the "white" DD, the birds become "weaker". They show signs of poor flight or poor eyesight. Can you comment on why this might be occurring?

Answer: The TRUE WHITE DIAMOND DOVE probably awaits the proper mutation to occur. The near white that breeders are getting now is a combination of the mutants that lighten color. The combinations of related mutants often weaken the possessor phenotypically in pigeons, according to Dr. Hollander. Often, however, it could be that inbreeding is usual to get such combinations and that other deleterious genes combine to show their effects concomitantly, yielding so-called "inbreeding depression".

Questions: Could you show a simple chart or genetic layout to be used to analyze the different color mutants currently found in Diamond Doves?

Answer: You probably won’t think it simple, especially since the "next step" depends on prior results. I’ve included my appendix 4 & 5 (Generalizations in Pedigree Analysis in Classical Genetics & How to Solve Breeding-Data Problems) that I give to my students. I also drew a couple of DIAGRAMS in which to follow. Since there has not been much research done on any of the colors, these diagrams are only SAMPLE RESULTS and not exactly what you will produce until you obtain results and apply them to the charts. To begin: to better analyze the mutants you must remember that the wild type (Blue) is very important in your analyses. Each description of the mutant should emphasize how they DIFFER from the wild type.

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