OMIA:001416-9612 : Coat colour, dominant black in Canis lupus (gray wolf)

In other species: coyote , dog , water buffalo

Categories: Pigmentation phene

Links to possible relevant human trait(s) and/or gene(s) in OMIM: 606611 (gene)

Mendelian trait/disorder: yes

Mode of inheritance: Autosomal

Considered a defect: no

Key variant known: yes

Year key variant first reported: 2009

Cross-species summary: Also known as the K locus

Molecular basis: Anderson et a. (2009) showed that the 3bp deletion of the CBD103 gene that causes dominant black in dogs, exists also in the orthologous gene in wolves and coyotes, and is strongly associated with black coat colour in both these species.

Prevalence: Schweizer et al. (2018) used "a new analytical approach to date the origin of the KB allele in Yukon wolves to between 1,598 and 7,248 years ago, suggesting that introgression with early Native American dogs was the source. Using population genetic simulations, we show that the K locus is undergoing natural selection in four wolf populations. We find evidence for balancing selection, specifically in Yellowstone wolves, which could be a result of selection for enhanced immunity in response to distemper." Cubaynes et a;l. (2022) "found that the frequency of CDV [canine distemper virus] outbreaks generates fluctuating selection that results in heterozygote advantage that in turn affects the frequency of the black allele, optimal mating behavior, and black wolf cline across the continent."

Associated gene:

Symbol Description Species Chr Location OMIA gene details page Other Links
CBD103 Canis lupus - no genomic information (-..-) CBD103 Ensembl


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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 Year Published PubMed ID(s) Acknowledgements
516 Coat colour, dominant black CBD103 K^B deletion, small (<=20) Naturally occurring variant 3bp deletion of the CBD103 gene 2009 19197024

Cite this entry

Nicholas, F. W., Tammen, I., & Sydney Informatics Hub. (2022). OMIA:001416-9612: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) [dataset].


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.

2022 Cubaynes, S., Brandell, E.E., Stahler, D.R., Smith, D.W., Almberg, E.S., Schindler, S., Wayne, R.K., Dobson, A.P., vonHoldt, B.M., MacNulty, D.R., Cross, P.C., Hudson, P.J., Coulson, T. :
Disease outbreaks select for mate choice and coat color in wolves. Science 378:300-303, 2022. Pubmed reference: 36264784. DOI: 10.1126/science.abi8745.
2021 Johnston, R.A., Rheinwald, J.G., vonHoldt, B.M., Stahler, D.R., Lowry, W., Tung, J., Wayne, R.K. :
K locus effects in gray wolves: Experimental assessment of TLR3 signaling and the gene expression response to canine distemper virus. J Hered 112:458-68, 2021. Pubmed reference: 34132805. DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esab029.
2018 Schweizer, R.M., Durvasula, A., Smith, J., Vohr, S.H., Stahler, D.R., Galaverni, M., Thalmann, O., Smith, D.W., Randi, E., Ostrander, E.A., Green, R.E., Lohmueller, K.E., Novembre, J., Wayne, R.K. :
Natural selection and origin of a melanistic allele in North American gray wolves. Mol Biol Evol 35:1190-1209, 2018. Pubmed reference: 29688543. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msy031.
2009 Anderson, TM., Vonholdt, BM., Candille, SI., Musiani, M., Greco, C., Stahler, DR., Smith, DW., Padhukasahasram, B., Randi, E., Leonard, JA., Bustamante, CD., Ostrander, EA., Tang, H., Wayne, RK., Barsh, GS. :
Molecular and evolutionary history of melanism in North American gray wolves. Science 323:1339-43, 2009. Pubmed reference: 19197024. DOI: 10.1126/science.1165448.

Edit History

  • Created by Frank Nicholas on 12 Oct 2011
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 12 Oct 2011
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 12 Dec 2011
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 21 Mar 2012
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 21 Mar 2019
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 18 Jun 2021
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 28 Oct 2022