Inbreeding?

Is inbreeding okay?

  • NO! You will get 2-headed geckos!

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • Yes, I do it all the time!

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • In moderation it's fine

    Votes: 21 72.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 3 10.3%

  • Total voters
    29
  • Poll closed .

NCleopardgeckos

New Member
Messages
14
Location
North Carolina
I am rather new to the gecko world, this upcoming February will be the year mark since I got into leos, but I've never really heard too much on this topic.

So, Yay or Nay on inbreeding? Does it cause deformities like in people and dogs/cat/horses/ect.? I know in the fish world that inbreeding actually improves genetics to an extent. Every 5 or so generations you would have to outsource..

I don't plan on breeding for quite a while, probably just going to stay an owner and expand my collection a little bit, but one can never know too much!

Please give me your two cents on this topic!
 

Golden Gate Geckos

Mean Old Gecko Lady
Messages
12,731
Location
SF Bay Area
I still think there is a difference between 'inbreeding' and 'line breeding'. I have never bred siblings together, and only rarely an offspring back to a parent. My Sunglows, Murphy Patternless, pure Blizzards, and Bold Stripes are all what I would consider 'line-bred' because I held back the best-of-the-best and refined the morphs for their distinctive look. I kept what I call 'parallel lines' where I had 2 breeding groups of the same morph and crossed the best offspring from one group with the best from another, or offspring to parallel group parents. This is still considered line breeding, because you are breeding within the same lines.

Inbreeding (breeding siblings or offspring back to parents) is necessary in many cases to develop a morph quickly, like when trying to prove a genetic trait, or make bank first. Since the lower the life-form, the less likely you are to have genetic inbred problems, but even with reptiles there needs to be outcrossing in order for the geckos to remain genetically strong and robust. Many 'new' morphs are weak and have issues when they are first introduced due to inbreeding, but with responsible and ethical development of the morph, outcrossing even one generation will usually remedy many issues.
 

PaulSage

I'm baaaaaack!
Messages
2,590
Location
Texas
So, Yay or Nay on inbreeding? Does it cause deformities like in people and dogs/cat/horses/ect.? I know in the fish world that inbreeding actually improves genetics to an extent. Every 5 or so generations you would have to outsource..
I've always considered line-breeding to be a form of inbreeding. With recessive traits, some degree of inbreeding is necessary to reproduce them unless the same compatible genetic anomaly spontaneously occurs in unrelated animals. Any degree of inbreeding (or line-breeding, if you will) can emphasize both desirable and undesirable traits. Out-crossing a genetic line can essentially do the same thing by introducing or diluting either desirable or undesirable traits.

Careful, responsible and knowledgeable inbreeding or line-breeding (as Marcia mentioned) doesn't pose much threat or carry many risks in many animal species. All dogs are the same species; inbreeding/line-breeding is what created what we refer to as dog 'breeds.'

Since you mentioned fish, I agree with you that "to an extent" inbreeding improves genetics. However, the potential to emphasize either desirable or undesirable traits applies to fish species as well. Inbreeding has been responsible for creating the many varieties of Poecilia reticulata (guppies) which is regarded as desirable in the aquarist community. On the other hand, inbreeding has also been responsible for creating [undesirable] deformities within Amphiprion ocellaris ('false percula' clownfish a.k.a. "Nemo") such as asymmetrical eyes and fins, prognathism (underbites), underdeveloped caudal fins, etc.

If, or when, you decide to breed, there are obviously several factors to take into consideration. How much you know about the genetic background of your breeding animals is probably a good start. If you acquired them from a second party (pet store, retailer, broker, etc.) you really have no way of knowing whether they have been closely inbred for several generations, or if they're even related at all. With the seemingly endless availability of diverse strains, lines, morphs, etc. available on the market today, I personally think it would be advantageous to out-cross to unrelated animals provided that it fits with your breeding objectives.
 

M_surinamensis

Shillelagh Law
Messages
1,166
An excellent post Paul, and an excellent approach. Calculated, knowledgeable decisions based on the specific pairings being considered is exactly the way I handle the subject.
 

ElapidSVT

lolwut?
Messages
1,370
Location
Grass Valley, California
it is truly difficult to calculate the degree of inbreeding in the captive bred leopard gecko world. buying animals from different breeders is no guarantee that the animals aren't related since breeders buy/trade with each other all the time. the degree of inbreeding also changes the outcomes; breeding sibs is worse than breeding cousins, which is worse than breeding 2nd cousins, etc.

inbreeding concentrates genes and reduces genetic variation.
outcrossing dilutes genes and increases genetic variation.
once a gene is lost in a population, it's gone unless it can be reintroduced by outcrossing. there are many genes that control things we can't see/select for such as vigor, speed of growth, disease resistance which can easily be lost with too much inbreeding.
hybrid vigor - when animals of sufficiently different genetic backgrounds are bred, the offspring will tend to be larger and healthier overall than when animals of very similar backgrounds are bred.
genetic drift - if two people start with the same animals and breed them as separate populations, eventually spontaneous mutations will cause differences between the populations such that they become less genetically similar.

so... what this all means is that inbreeding helps to create new morphs by concentrating recessive genes. without inbreeding there would be no albinos or mack snows, etc. inbreeding also concentrates deleterious recessive alleles which can cause things like deformities, low vigor, poor disease resistance, etc.

this is why wild-type imports are so important to the hobby; they replace the lost wild-type genes and increase the depth of the genepool.

hth
 

C C Gecko

New Member
Messages
198
Location
Salinas, CA
This is good to know, I was planing on doing this to see to see if I really had het Eclipse female that I started with. This year I produced all females, next year or later this year I would like to try for a couple males and then cross babies. Then introduce fresh genetics to them for the third time.

Hope I am doing it right haha. Either way I already have beautiful baby mack snows.

Inbreeding (breeding siblings or offspring back to parents) is necessary in many cases to develop a morph quickly, like when trying to prove a genetic trait, or make bank first. Since the lower the life-form, the less likely you are to have genetic inbred problems, but even with reptiles there needs to be outcrossing in order for the geckos to remain genetically strong and robust. Many 'new' morphs are weak and have issues when they are first introduced due to inbreeding, but with responsible and ethical development of the morph, outcrossing even one generation will usually remedy many issues.
 
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