The b locus

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The b Locus
Ash red bar, probably also sooty.
Ash red bar, probably also sooty.
Mutation type Basic colour
Alleles brown, blue/black, ash red

The b locus is the position of a gene on the Z chromosome with three known alleles: brown, blue/black (wild type) and ash red. This gene controls the pigeons basic colour.


Ink spotting on an ash red cock carrying blue.

Including wild type, this locus has three alleles. Brown is recessive to wild type, whereas ash red is dominant. As a sex-linked locus, it is possible for cocks to carry two different alleles (or two of the same), whereas hens can only carry a single allele, and will always express the allele they're carrying.

Ash red cocks who are carrying a copy of a less dominant allele will often show "ink spots" indicating the presence of the other gene.

See also

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