OMIA:000915-9031 : Feather colour, silver in Gallus gallus

In other species: Japanese quail

Categories: Pigmentation phene

Possibly relevant human trait(s) and/or gene(s)s (MIM numbers): 606202 (gene) , 227240 (trait) , 606574 (trait) , 156845 (gene)

Links to MONDO diseases: No links.

Mendelian trait/disorder: yes

Mode of inheritance: Z-linked

Considered a defect: yes

Key variant known: yes

Year key variant first reported: 2007

Species-specific symbol: S

Species-specific description: "S*S (Silver), S*N (wild type/gold), and S*AL (sex-linked imperfect albinism) form a series of alleles at the S (Silver) locus on chicken (Gallus gallus) chromosome Z" (Gunnarsson et al., 2007)

Molecular basis: Gunnarsson et al. (2007) identified the following three likely causal variants:

S*AL: "106delT mutation in the chicken S*AL allele results in a frameshift and a premature stop codon and the corresponding mRNA appears to be degraded by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay."

S*S: "Two independent missense mutations (Tyr277Cys and Leu347Met) were associated with the Silver allele in chicken . . . the former mutation, associated only with Silver in White Leghorn"

An unresolved puzzle is that the two missense mutations inhibit only phaeomelanin production, whereas the frameshift mutation in the same gene gives rise to an almost complete absence of eumelanin and phaeomelanin.

Associated gene:

Symbol Description Species Chr Location OMIA gene details page Other Links
SLC45A2 solute carrier family 45, member 2 Gallus gallus Z NC_052572.1 (10901748..10882873) SLC45A2 Homologene, Ensembl , NCBI gene


By default, variants are sorted chronologically by year of publication, to provide a historical perspective. Readers can re-sort on any column by clicking on the column header. Click it again to sort in a descending order. To create a multiple-field sort, hold down Shift while clicking on the second, third etc relevant column headers.

WARNING! Inclusion of a variant in this table does not automatically mean that it should be used for DNA testing. Anyone contemplating the use of any of these variants for DNA testing should examine critically the relevant evidence (especially in breeds other than the breed in which the variant was first described). If it is decided to proceed, the location and orientation of the variant sequence should be checked very carefully.

Since October 2021, OMIA includes a semiautomated lift-over pipeline to facilitate updates of genomic positions to a recent reference genome position. These changes to genomic positions are not always reflected in the ‘acknowledgements’ or ‘verbal description’ fields in this table.

OMIA Variant ID Breed(s) Variant Phenotype Gene Allele Type of Variant Source of Genetic Variant Reference Sequence Chr. g. or m. c. or n. p. Verbal Description EVA ID Inferred EVA rsID Year Published PubMed ID(s) Acknowledgements
514 Sex-linked imperfect albinism SLC45A2 S*AL deletion, small (<=20) Naturally occurring variant Z c.106delT 2007 17151254
9 Feather colour, silver SLC45A2 S*S missense Naturally occurring variant GRCg6a Z g.10336596G>T c.1039C>A p.(L347M) rs314509501 rs314509501 2007 17151254 Variant coordinates obtained from or confirmed by EBI's Some Effect Predictor (VEP) tool
10 White Leghorn (Chicken) Feather colour, silver SLC45A2 S*S missense Naturally occurring variant GRCg6a Z g.10340909T>C c.830A>G p.(Y277C) rs315357427 rs315357427 2007 17151254 Variant coordinates obtained from or confirmed by EBI's Variant Effect Predictor (VEP) tool


Note: the references are listed in reverse chronological order (from the most recent year to the earliest year), and alphabetically by first author within a year.

2020 Andersson, L., Bed’hom, B., Chuong, CM., Inaba, M.Inaba, M., Okimoto, R.Okimoto, R., Tixier-Boichard, M. :
The genetic basis for pigmentation phenotypes in poultry In S. E. Aggrey, H. Zhou, M. Tixier-Boichard, & D. D. Rhoads (Eds.), Advances in Poultry Genetics and Genomics. Cambridge, UK: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing. :, 2020.
2019 Nie, C., Ban, L., Ning, Z., Qu, L. :
Feather colour affects the aggressive behaviour of chickens with the same genotype on the dominant white (I) locus. PLoS One 14:e0215921, 2019. Pubmed reference: 31048862 . DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215921.
2007 Gunnarsson, U., Hellström, A.R., Tixier-Boichard, M., Minvielle, F., Bed'hom, B., Ito, S., Jensen, P., Rattink, A., Vereijken, A., Andersson, L. :
Mutations in SLC45A2 cause plumage color variation in chicken and Japanese quail. Genetics 175:867-77, 2007. Pubmed reference: 17151254 . DOI: 10.1534/genetics.106.063107.
1999 Bitgood, J.J. :
Linkage relationships of the Z-linked silver, slow feathering, and pop-eye loci Poultry Science 78:1100-1101, 1999. Pubmed reference: 10472834 .
1996 Bitgood, J.J., Rozum, J.J. :
Close linkage relationship of the Z-linked Pop-eye and Silver plumage color loci in the chicken Poultry Science 75:1067-1068, 1996. Pubmed reference: 8878260 .
1994 Bitgood, J.J. :
Lack of recombination between the Z-linked silver feather pattern locus and the break point of a chromosome translocation: A second occurrence Poultry Science 73:1359-1361, 1994. Pubmed reference: 7800634 .
1993 Shoffner, R.N., Otis, J.S., Garwood, V.A. :
Association of dominant marker traits and metric traits in chickens. Poultry Science 72:1405-1410, 1993. Pubmed reference: 8378215 .
1991 Silversides, F.G., Mérat, P. :
Homology of the s+ locus in the chicken with Al+ in the Japanese quail. Journal of Heredity 82:245-247, 1991.
1989 Machal, L., Jerabek, S., Hampl, A. :
The production of coloursexing laying hens of domestic fowl when using the locus 'k' :251-254, 1989.
Merat, P., Bordas, A. :
Differential Response of Sex-Linked Albino (Sal) and Silver (S) Hens to High and Low Light Intensity British Poultry Science 30:807-813, 1989.
1988 Wen, R.P., Miu, X.G. :
[Preliminary studies on the establishment of breeding lines of autosexing meat-type fowls, using sex-linked genes for white-golden feathers] Chinese Journal of Animal Science :9-12, 1988.
1986 Garcia, A.J. :
[Sexing day-old chicks on the basis of sex-linked genes. Current trends] Revista Cubana de Ciencias Avicolas 13:13-32, 1986.
1985 Bitgood, JJ. :
Additional linkage relationships within the Z chromosome of the chicken. Poult Sci 64:2234-8, 1985. Pubmed reference: 4095061 .
1969 Carte, I.F., Smith, J.H. :
Degree of linkage between the silver plumage (S) and slow juvenile feathering (K) loci. Poult Sci 48:343-4, 1969. Pubmed reference: 5389848 .
1961 Griesbach, L. :
Body weights of gold and silver segregates in chicken broilers Poultry Science 40:1763-1764, 1961.
1959 Wessels, J.P.H. :
[Linkage between silver colour and late feathering in fowls] South African Journal of Agricultural Science 2:357-361, 1959.
1938 Warren, D.C. :
Mapping the genes of the fowl (abstract) Genetics 23:174 only, 1938.
1933 Macarthur, J.W. :
Sex-Linked Genes in the Fowl. Genetics 18:210-20, 1933. Pubmed reference: 17246689 .
1928 Warren, D.C. :
Sex-Linked Characters of Poultry. Genetics 13:421-33, 1928. Pubmed reference: 17246558 .
1925 Haldane, J.B.S., Crew, F.A.E. :
Change of linkage in poultry with age. Nature 115:641 only, 1925. DOI: 10.1038/115641b0.
1922 Serebrosky, A.S. :
Crossing-over involving three sex-linked genes in chickens. American Naturalist 56:571-572, 1922.
1921 Haldane, J.B.S. :
Linkage in poultry. Science 54:663 only, 1921. Pubmed reference: 17816160 . DOI: 10.1126/science.54.1409.663.
1917 Goodale, H.D. :
Crossing-over in the sex chromosome of the male fowl. Science 46:213 only, 1917. Pubmed reference: 17782267 . DOI: 10.1126/science.46.1183.213.

Edit History

  • Created by Frank Nicholas on 10 Nov 2009
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 10 Oct 2011
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 09 Dec 2011
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 02 Mar 2012
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 10 Dec 2017