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Old 26-05-2018, 08:21 PM
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 1
Default Someone help explain and undertastand

Hey. I’ve got some leopard geckos I know their morph but I need help understanding something. Can someone please help me understand what HET means and everything else to do with breeding like that please. I have trouble understanding some things so I find it best if someone explains it like they would explain it to a kid. Thank you
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 27-05-2018, 06:45 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 1,466

For the most part, whether with snakes or lizards, het refers to a recessive trait where the animal has only one copy of the gene.

Technically, het is short for heterozygous and that word means that at a particular locus, the copies of the gene there are *different* from each other. Hetero means different.

With a dominant or incomplete dominant trait, the animal can be heterozygous for that gene (one copy of the gene, one normal copy) and still be a visual morph. But people rarely call these 'hets' so as to avoid confusion.

With recessive traits, if the animal has only copy of the gene then it will not be displaying that trait. A recessive gene requires two copies to be displayed, also known as being homozygous. Homo in this case means same.

So if you have an animal that is 100% het for some recessive trait, it is not visually displaying that trait but if it is bred to another animal 100% het for the same trait, or is homozygous for the same trait, it can produce visual babies.

If an animal is listed as 50% het, that means that is has a 50% chance of carrying the gene in het form. One of its parents was het for the trait, and the other was not het or homozygous for it. As each parent only passes on one of the two copies of each gene to its offspring, some babies will get the recessive gene and some won't. So there's a 50/50 chance that any individual baby will carry the gene.

If an animal is listed as 66% het, that means that is has that percentage chance of carrying the gene in het form. Both its parents in this case were het for the same recessive trait. The 66% maths out from a punnet square: if you fill out one, the boxes will have one homozygous animal for the trait, 2 carriers of the trait in het form, and one homozygous normal animal that does not carry the trait. If you take out the square that has the baby that is visual for the trait, you are left with 3 boxes where in 2 are het and one is not. 2/3 = 66%.
7.10 Corn snakes
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 29-05-2018, 09:37 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 2,722

Hi, katieelegg, welcome to the RFUK forums!

Traits are what you see. Genes tell the cell machinery how to produce the trait. If you are putting together a plastic model airplane, traits are aspects of the finished model. Whether the wings are swept backward or forward. Whether the nose is painted red or green or not painted. And so on. Genes are individual directions in the direction sheet that tells how to put the model together. As genes are arranged in pairs, there is the equivalent of a pair of direction sheets.

All pairs of genes are either homozygous or heterozygous. Let's use a pair of socks to stand for a pair of genes. If both socks are identically black, then the pair is homozygous. If the socks are identically red, then the pair is homozygous. If the two genes are different (one red and one black), then the pair is heterozygous.

Breeding is a method of shuffling the parent genes to produce a baby. Each parent gives one of each parent gene to the baby, and that reestablishes the gene pair.

Using the sock analogy, John has a pair of black socks, and Mary has a pair of black socks. John gives a sock to Jill. Mary gives a sock to Jill. What socks does Jill have?

Answer: As both of John's socks are black, his pair of sock is homozygous. As both of Mary's socks are black, her pair of socks is homozygous. Jill has two black socks, so her pair is also homozygous.

The possible sock pairs are two black socks or two white socks or one black and one white socks. That is what genetics boils down to.

Good luck.
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