African Pygmy Hedgehog genetics
Since 2011 we started our first research into African Pygmy Hedgehog Genetics. Starting with collecting information on our own hedgehogs and later on keeping track of hedgehogs and litters of several breeders, we came up with an essential basis to work further on. Storing the data in Excel and developing lists of hedgehogs per breeder, adjusting their genetic code sequence after each litter until the calculation method was perfected and calculations could effectively predict litter outcomes. This is the method used up until approximately 2018.
The research started in Europe and slowly gained interest of several breeders. In 2017 we started to aim more internationally with the research, keeping track of litters from American and African breeders on top of European breeders. To keep track of all the different information, we developed a different system to store all of the information coming our way; THP registry. With the availability of an international pedigree registration platform, it became a lot easier to receive, store and track progress of the research as well as proving the community with more insight into their lineages.
Since there is no genome sequencing for Atelerix albiventris, we had to base the entire research on digital data and pedigree tracking. Using old methods of research like Mendelian inheritance and Punnett square, we took nine years to fully research the genetic variations within the captive population of the species. This is from 2011 to 2020 when the research was closed. Though we will keep research genetics within the species on the long run due to population evolution and the rise of new mutations, the base for the genetic research is successfully completed and we are currently writing the research paper and hoping to be able to publish the research in the coming year of 2020/2021.
Studying DNA through digital data recources
During our research, we have published a small amount of summaries, using Academia. These summaries provide a small look into the research data and conclusions for the base mutations, but are not a good representation of the entire research. In the case where a journal won’t allow our research paper to be published, we will use Academia to publish the research as an Open Source paper.
|Wild type color in Atelerix albiventris||August 11, 2017||View on Academia|
|Melanism in Atelerix albiventris||September 9, 2017||View on Academia|
|Dilution in Atelerix albiventris||November 24, 2017||View on Academia|
|Brown dilute in Atelerix albiventris||December 1, 2017||View on Academia|
|Albinism in Atelerix albiventris||December 28, 2017||View on Academia|
|Pink eyed dilute in Atelerix albiventris||March 2, 2018||View on Academia|
|Piebald in Atelerix albiventris||May 8, 2018||View on Academia|
With using both previously mentioned methods, we collected well over 10.000 pedigrees of African Pygmy Hedgehogs in total. Around 3000 pedigrees are collected in the first years and are stored away in Excel data tables. The remaining 7000 pedigrees are found on THP Registry, which remains to be an international pedigree registration platform to collect information for our other researches, to continue researching new mutations on the long term and to provide breeders with more insight into their lineages.
Genetics in other species
Though we do want to research color mutations in other species, collecting data for these species is much harder due to the rarity of these species in captivity. We hope to be able to do more genetic research in the future and remain looking for options to make this happen.