Dexter Color Brief
Dexter’s are recognized in 3 solid colors: Black, Red and Dun
Two unrelated pairs of genes located on separate chromosomes control the 3 colors.
Black & Red are one pair
Dexters have 2 red genes, “E+” and “e”. (The 2 reds don’t appear different in appearance but are identifiable through DNA testing for color.)
Both “E+” red and “e” red are recessive to black so every red Dexter carries 2 red genes. A pair of red Dexter parents will only produce a red offspring even if both parents carry a hidden dun gene.
Black & Dun are the other pair
A brown mutation is responsible for the dun color. Dun is recessive to black, so every dun colored Dexter carries 2 dun genes.
Breeding 2 Black Dexters
Black Dexters can carry red & dun genes and if so may produce Black, Red or Dun offspring when bred to a bull w/1 or both of the colored genes
A Red if both carry a Red gene.
A Dun if both carry a Dun gene
Breeding 2 Red Dexters
2 Red Dexter parents can only produce Red only
Red is the only Dexter color that will breed true.
Breeding a Red Dexter (w/dun gene) to a Black or Dun
Can produce a Black, a red or a dun
2 Dun Dexter's can produce Dun or Red offspring
A Dun if bred to a Dun may produce a Dun offspring
A Dun (w/Red gene) bred to a Dun (w/Red gene) can produce a Red or a Dun offspring
Breeding a Dun Dexter to a Redor Black Dexter
A Dun Dexter can produce a Black, Red or Dun offspring:
A Dun (w/o a Red gene) bred to a Red Dexter (w/o a dun gene) will only produce a Black calf
A Dun (w/Red gene) bred to a Red (w/o a Dun gene) will produce Black or Red offspring
A Dun (w/o Red gene) bred to a Red (w/Dun gene) can produce a Dun or a Black offspring
A Dun (w/Red gene) bred to a Black (w/Red &/or Dun gene) can produce Black Red or Dun offspring. _ These Black calves will carry a hidden Red gene and a hidden Dun gene, the Red calves will also carry a Dun gene
DEXTER COLOR SYMBOLS & INTERPRETATIONS
E+/e =Red w/o Dunrecessive
e/e =Red w/o Dunrecessive
E+/E+ B/B = Red w/o Dun recessive
E+/E+ B/b = Red w/Dun recessive
E+/E+ b/b = Red w/Dun recessive
E+/e B/B = Red w/o Dun recessive
E+/e B/b = Red w/Dun recessive
E+/e b/b = Red w/Dun recessive
e/e B/B = Red w/o Dun recessive
e/e B/b = Red w/Dun recessive
e/e b/b = Red w/Dun recessive
ED/ED b/b = Dun w/o Red recessive
ED/e b/b = Dun w/Red recessive
ED/E+ b/b = Dun w/Red recessive
ED/ED = Black w/o Dun or Red recessives
ED/ED E+/E+ = Black w/Red recessive
ED/ED E+/e = Black w/Red recessive
ED/ED e/e = Black w/Red recessive
ED/ED B/b = Black w/Dunrecessive
ED/ED B/B = Black w/o Dun recessive
ED/E+ B/B = Black w/Red recessive w/o Dun recessive
ED/E+ B/b = Black w/Red & w/Dun recessive
ED/e B/B = Black w/Red recessive w/o Dun recessive
ED/e B/b = Black w/Red recessive & w/Dun recessive
Black is dominate, Red is recessive.
You can "test" a Black to see if there's a recessive Red (&/or Dun) gene through a Lab sample test or by breeding (you get a colored calf from a breeding). If you cross 2 recessive carriers you can get the Red or Dun from black parents. (It takes 2 recessives to produce the colored offspring).
Dun's can be produced from Blacks (with the Dun recessive) and also from Reds (with a Dun recessive).
Duns themselves will produce Dun, Red or Black with compatible color matings.
Red bred to red will only produce Red no matter what other colors are in the background.
Red is the only color that will breed true
(If a Black animal didn't carry a recessive color gene it could only produce black offspring.
I don't try to explain the "scientifics" but the simple rule of thumb is:
2 Reds together are dominate over Dun and Black ie:
Two Red parents can only produce Red offspring.
(even if both were from Dun parents)
Two Red parents can only produce Red offspring.
(even if both were from Black parents)
Until Sheila Schmutz found the Dun color locus we thought 1/2 Red 1/2 Dun bred to each other would be able to produce a new color......and predicted it would be
cream colored. Sheila's findings indicated that can't be the case.
Reds will only produce Reds when bred together.
Some information and photos about white markings in the Dexter Breed today
White Spotting in Cattle White-Spotting Mutants
Since the wild type for white spotting is a lack of spotting, any white spotting on cattle is due to a mutant or combination of several mutants. In general, the understanding of the genetic control of white spotting is complete except for a few patterns discussed later. A major mutant gene affecting spotting patterns in cattle is the Piebald; irregular areas of pigmented and white; feet, belly, and tail usually white recessive Holstein, Guernsey, Jersey, Simmental, Ayrshire, Maine-Anjou and others exhibit this gene.
In some solid-colored breeds, white spotting along the underline, especially in front of the navel may be due to the presence of this Piebald gene.
In many cases, however, such spotting is not caused by the Piebald gene and it is unclear as to the genetic mechanism involved. Selection against such animals should reduce the incidence of such spotting, but reduces the selection intensity possible for traits related to productivity.
Link to Sheila Schmutz color research is posted here:
WHITE SPOTTED DEXTERS
Spotted heifer calf 2013
Spotted Bull Calf 2008