Topics: Tiger, Bengal tiger, Tigers Pages: 20 (7070 words) Published: June 4, 2013
Scientists Solved the Mystery behind Bengal White Tigers
Scientists from Peking University, Beijing in May 2013 discovered that a change in single amino acid (A477V) in one pigmentation relate gene (SLC45A2) is the cause of white fur or sepia brown stripes in some tigers. The scientists studied 16 captive white tigers from three different parents to come up with the conclusion. 

As per the scientists, two types of melanin namely pheomelanin and eumelanin are used for identifying the color of fur, eye and stripes of the tiger. In case of the white tigers, pheomelanin that produces red and yellow color is affected. As per the research, the point mutation in the amino acid blocks a particular channel partially; as a result of this blockage yellow pigment forming process is affected. Same type of mutation in pigmentation-related gene (SLC45A2) causes light skin colour in modern Europeans as well as mouse, chicken and horse too. 

As per the study, human often force the tigers to inbreed for increasing the number of white tigers in zoos. This type of forced inbreeding may create some health side effects in the tigers as it has been a reason of health ailments in humans. In tigers this forced inbreeding has resulted in human-induced inbreeding has resulted in premature death, stillbirth and deformities. 

White tigers are a part of the genetic diversity of the tigers, which is caused due to mutation and are worth conserving. The findings of the research was published in Thursday in the Current Biology journal. The study was conducted under the leadership of Shu Jin Lau of Peking University.

Bengal tiger
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the 2001 film, see Bengal Tiger (film).
Bengal tiger|
A Bengal tiger at Ranthambore National Park|
Conservation status|

Endangered (IUCN 3.1)[1]|
Scientific classification|
Kingdom:| Animalia|
Phylum:| Chordata|
Class:| Mammalia|
Order:| Carnivora|
Family:| Felidae|
Subfamily:| Pantherinae|
Genus:| Panthera|
Species:| Panthera tigris|
Subspecies:| Panthera tigris tigris|
Trinomial name|
Panthera tigris tigris
Pocock, 1929|
The Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) is the most numerous tiger subspecies. Its populations have been estimated at 1,706–1,909 in India, 440 in Bangladesh, 124–229 in Nepal and 67–81 in Bhutan.[2][3][4][5] Since 2010, it has been classified as anendangered species by the IUCN. The total population is estimated at fewer than 2,500 individuals with a decreasing trend, and none of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within the Bengal tiger's range is large enough to support an effective population size of 250 adult individuals.[1]

A Bengal tiger at Bannerghatta National Park, India
Bengal is traditionally fixed as the typical locality for the binomial Panthera tigris, to which the British taxonomist Pococksubordinated the Bengal tiger in 1929 under the trinomial Panthera tigris tigris.[6][7] It is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh.[8] Contents  [hide]  * 1 Characteristics * 1.1 Records * 1.2 Genetic ancestry * 2 Distribution and habitat * 2.1 India * 2.2 Bangladesh * 2.3 Nepal * 2.4 Bhutan * 3 Ecology and behaviour * 3.1 Hunting and diet * 3.2 Reproduction and lifecycle * 4 Threats * 4.1 Poaching * 4.2 Human-tiger conflict * 5 Conservation efforts * 5.1 In India * 5.2 In Bangladesh * 5.3 In Nepal * 6 Ex situ * 6.1 Admixed genetic heritage * 6.2 "Re-wilding" project in South Africa * 6.3 In the USA * 7 In culture * 8 References * 9 External links| -------------------------------------------------


A Bengal tiger in Mangalore, Karnataka
The Bengal tiger's coat is yellow to light orange, with stripes ranging from dark brown to black; the belly and the interior parts of the limbs are white, and the tail is...
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