MC1R Gene Variants and Their Relationship with Coat Color in South American Camelids

ScientificWorldJournal. 2023 Aug 30:2023:4871135. doi: 10.1155/2023/4871135. eCollection 2023.


In domestic camelids, fleece color is an essential characteristic because it defines the direction of production. Variants were determined in the MC1R gene that showed a relationship with coat color in alpacas and llamas at the level of the coding region. This report sequenced the MC1R gene from 290 alpacas (142 white, 84 black, 50 brown, and 14 light fawn), five brown llamas, nine vicuñas, and three guanacos to analyze the association between coat color and the MC1R gene among South American camelids. A total of nineteen polymorphisms were identified. Seven polymorphisms were significant; three of them were of nonsynonymous type (c.82A > G, c.376G > A, and c.901C > T), two were of synonymous type (c.126 T > C and c.933G > A), one was in the promoter region (-42C > G), and one was in the 3' UTR (+5T > C). More polymorphisms were found in domestic camelids than in wild camelids. Besides polymorphism, the association of polymorphisms might cause white and dark pigmentation in the fleece of South American camelids. In addition, the MC1R protein would answer the pigmentation in alpacas.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Camelids, New World* / genetics
  • Hair Color* / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 1* / genetics
  • South America


  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 1