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“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
― Albert Einstein

Genetic Research Project

A Long Term Project of LARALC is the Genetics Project. We will be focusing on The Leopard Gecko, As you will read below there has been little research into the DNA of reptiles. As a aim to gain more knowlege as well as passing it onto future generations, we will start two phases of documenting with the help of a lab.

Visual documentation- At the moment the known different mutations have been found through trial and error. all visual and it has been a collective documentation that has braught to light different mutations. (this is a guessing game and do not have a clear idea of what the underlining genetics are doing.)

DNA Documentation - After succuring Geckos from breeders who do years worth of documentation and have the cleanest genetics, we will breed down generations. While this is being done for the Visual Documentation, we will also DNA test each gecko.  With the help of other breeders submitting their info to the same lab and sharing it with us, we will begin to store the Visual Genetic Leo Database, VGLD.

      Research Program - (Phase 2)

Once a collection of information has been gather we will start to Invite college and university students that study genetics to join the program and use it in whatever way they can to help advance our understanding of the different morphs and genetic traits.

Ex - This could be used to find the genetic trait in the ecipse gene that causes a nurological problem that is heretitary.

Lizard Sexing And DNA Testing ( a passage from article   )

By Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP

Q. Can you direct me to a veterinary lab that does lizard sexing? Can it be done on blood, and if so, how much is needed? Where do you suggest obtaining the sample?

I’ve had an inquiry from a client as to sexing a chameleon (don’t know species, size or age at the moment). Can you advise?

A. Good questions. I have had many inquiries about performing DNA sexing on reptiles. The technology has been available for many avian species for over 15 years, and involves removing only a drop of blood for DNA analysis.

Unfortunately, the technology is not quite so simple in herps, as the DNA portions of the chromosomes that determine the sex are not as easily identified as they are in avian species. To determine the DNA sequencing of herps would require some sort of grant or funding in order to study the chromosomes and genes in order to identify the portions involved with determining sex.

At this time, the only herps that can be sexed by DNA analysis are green iguanas (Iguana iguana) and Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis), according to an employee at Zoogen, a well-known company that performs DNA sexing of many avian species.

Until DNA sexing becomes commercially available for the reptile species, we will need to rely on other methods of sexing herps. For example, many chameleons have secondary sexual characteristics that can help tell males from females. Many herps have two bulges behind the cloaca, in the proximal tail, from the hemipenes. Other species have enlarged pores, either found on the ventral femur or near the cloaca, found in males. Bearded dragons have a prominent dark beard in mature males. Some species may be probed to determine the sex, by examining the depth to which a probe will go when inserted caudally into the cloaca.


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