American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2010 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.


Virus Makes Color

By Virginia Pochmann

From Mouse Review No. 4, Feb. 1989

Fanciers may be interested to know that scientists have discovered that the colors Blue and Dominant Yellow (genes d and Ay) are caused by the insertion of a virus into the gene, where it is replicated and inherited from then on.


  • Jenkins, Copeland, Taylor, & Lee. 1981 Dilute (d) coat color-mutation of mice associated with the site of integration of an ecotropic MuLV genome. Nature 293.
  • Copeland, Jenkins, & Lee. 1983. Association of the lethal yellow (Ay) coat color mutation with an ecotropic murine leukemia virus genome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80 pp 247–249.
June 30, 2014