Commonly identified as the D Locus, the Dense or Dilute Locus controls the density of the pigment in each fur strand. Although it alone does not control color, it works with the B Locus to give the four distinctive base colors known to rabbits: black, chocolate, blue, and lilac. A simple locus, there are only two variations, but it causes the creation of some the most unique and stunning colors. 

The ‘D’ or Dense gene

  • Causes there to be a normal level of color pigment concentration on each hair shaft.
  • Completely dominant. 
  • When paired with the ‘B’ gene, the ‘D’ causes a black base color, and when ‘D’ is paired with the ‘b’ (chocolate) gene, the chocolate base color is produced.

Black Harliquin

A_B_C_D_e(j)_

Broken Orange

A_B_C_D_ee

Broken Black GTS

A_B_C_D_E(s)_

The ‘d’ or Dilute gene

  • Results in reduced color pigment concentration. 
  • Completely recessive, so if it is expressed, it is always homozygous (‘dd’). 
  • Paired with the ‘B’ gene, the dilute gene causes the blue base color. When paired with the ‘b’ gene, a lilac base color is produced. 

Lilac Chinchilla

A_bbc(chd)_ddE_

Opal

Blue STS

A_B_C_ddE(s)_

Opal

A_B_C_ddE_

Interested in the learning about the other color loci? Check out our Rabbit Genetics page for further reading!

Note: Quick thank you to thenaturetrail.com for their article on the D gene which was referenced in the process of writing this post!

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