ASIP Promoter Variants Predict the Sesame Coat Color in Shiba Inu Dogs

Stepan N. Belyakin, Daniil A. Maksimov, Maria A. Pobedintseva, Petr P. Laktionov, Dinara Voronova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Animals exhibit a wide variety of genetically determined coat colors and pigmentation patterns that serve important roles in adaptation and communication. Although the genetics of the main coat colors in dogs have been studied extensively, there are types of coat pigmentation that have not been explained yet. Recently, an association between the variants in the ASIP gene Ventral (VP) and Hair Cycle (HCP) promoters with different coat colors in dogs has been established. Here, we used the new findings as a basis to investigate the genetics of the red sesame coat color in Shiba Inu dogs. Our study revealed that red sesame dogs carry a specific heterozygous ASIP promoter diplotype, VP2-HCP1/VP2-HCP3, where VP2-HCP1 is responsible for the red coat with a dark overlay, and VP2-HCP3 for a tan point-like pattern. This finding explains the inheritance of this coat color pattern and can be used by breeders to produce dogs with this rare phenotype. A comparison of sesame dogs (VP2-HCP1/VP2-HCP3) to a dog homozygous for the VP2-HCP1 promoter haplotype suggests that the incomplete dominance between the ASIP alleles may be involved in the sesame coat formation. These results are in good agreement with the new model explaining how different levels of ASIP gene expression affect the regulation of pigment synthesis in melanocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number222
JournalVeterinary Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • ASIP gene
  • dog coat color genetics
  • promoter variants
  • Shiba Inu




Dive into the research topics of 'ASIP Promoter Variants Predict the Sesame Coat Color in Shiba Inu Dogs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this