Many of you may know the “long feathered” or “standard” type Agapornis roseicollis. These birds are larger than the “normal” A. roseicollis and are highly desired in shows.
But what causes these birds to be so much larger? Is it a genetic factor? Is this something you can select for as a breeder? That is exactly what we want to investigate further!
One of the theories is that a mutation in the myostatin gene causes the birds to grow larger (read article). This is found in many species such as cattle, dogs, chicken and even mussels. We hope to find out if this is the case for Agapornis, too.
What do we need?
We need samples of families of birds where larger birds occur. Preferably parents and chicks, but any relatives who are “normal” and “larger” or “standard” types are extremely useful.
If you can help us with samples, please don’t hesitate to contact us via: Agapornis.firstname.lastname@example.org
We will send you all you need to take the sample and explain everything clearly. You won’t need a veterinarian to take the samples.
Thanks in advance!
Dr Henriette van der Zwan
Postdoctoral fellow: North-West University
Potchefstroom, South Africa