UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Genetic Phenomena | Genetics and Genomics


The fur colour of American mink (Neovison vison) involves over 35 traits, but only three of these have been linked to specific genes. Despite being the most popular, coat colours Silverblue and Hedlund white remain uncharacterized genetically. The former is the first genetic mutant of fur colour identified in minks, while the latter is a commercially valuable phenotype that can be dyed easily. Here, we performed the whole genome sequencing for two American mink breeds with Silverblue and Hedlund white coats. We identified mutations in splice donor sites of genes coding melanophilin (MLPH) and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) that regulate melanosome transport and neural-crest-derived melanocyte development, respectively. Both mutations cause mRNA splicing impairments that lead to a shift in open reading frames of MLPH and MITF. We conclude that our data should be useful for tracking economically valuable fur traits in mink breeding programs to contribute to global fur production.


mink, fur color, mutations, genome sequencing

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DOI of Published Version



Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 14;9(1):4581. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40918-7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Scientific reports

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PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.