OMIA:002667-9031 : Feather colour, cream in Gallus gallus (chicken)

Categories: Pigmentation phene

Mendelian trait/disorder: yes

Mode of inheritance: Autosomal recessive

Considered a defect: no

Key variant known: yes

Year key variant first reported: 2023

Species-specific name: Inhibitor of gold

Species-specific symbol: IG

Species-specific description: Bi et al. (2023): "The Inhibitor of gold (IG) or Cream phenotype was first described by Taylor [1932] and later analysed by Punnett [1948]. The autosomal recessive IG allele mainly dilutes the red/pheomelanic components of the plumage with minor effects on black/eumelanic components .... A general dilution of pigmentation is present in homozygous IG/IG birds that are also homozygous for the recessive wheaten allele (Y) at the MC1R locus and therefore exhibit only red pheomelanin pigmentation ... . The phenotype is apparent already at hatch. In contrast, IG birds carrying other MC1R alleles that allow expression of both eumelanin and pheomelanin show a dilution of red pheomelanic pigmentation but no visible dilution of black eumelanic pigmentation ... . Male IG chickens display a greater dilution of pheomelanin pigmentation than IG females, suggesting the involvement of sex-specific factors."

Inheritance: Bi et al. (2023): "A three-generation intercross was set up between three Rhode Island Red (RIR) birds carrying the wild-type allele at the IG locus (N) and four individuals from an experimental population fixed for the Inhibitor of Gold allele to produce a pedigree for mapping the IG locus. A total of 413 F2 chickens were born, of which 83 (20.1%) displayed the dilution of pheomelanin pigmentation caused by IG homozygosity. This represents a minor but significant deviation from the 25% expected based on Mendelian segregation (χ2 = 5.30, df = 1, P = 0.02)."

Mapping: Bi et al. (2023): "linkage analysis was performed using 159 F2 individuals from a three-generation intercross segregating at the IG-locus." The IG locus was mapped "to a 3.71 Mb region on chicken chromosome 6 defined by the closest flanking markers IG1250Kb and AP3UP500Kb ...." Identical-by-descent mapping refined the region to a 261,682 bp IBD region containing the COMTD1, and two lncRNAs.

Molecular basis: Whole genome sequencing of an IG/IG homozygote identified a 2-bp insertion in exon 5 of COMTD1 as likely causal variant (Bi et al., 2023). This variant was validated by analysis of publicly available chicken whole genome sequencing data and by genotyping "a large pedigree of an intercross between a White Leghorn line (Obese Line) and red junglefowl, which segregated at the IG and sex-linked Silver loci ... [as well as] genotyping " (i) IG birds from five different populations and (ii) wild-type birds representing 7 domestic breeds and three junglefowl species all displaying red plumage phenotypes. ... Two different COMTD1 transcripts were detected in IG birds: a full-length transcript (IG1), which is out of frame after the 2 bp insertion in exon 5 leading to a premature stop codon, and an alternative splice form (IG2), which carries four out-of-frame codons from exon 5, lacks exon 6, but contains exon 7 in frame."

Associated gene:

Symbol Description Species Chr Location OMIA gene details page Other Links
COMTD1 catechol-O-methyltransferase domain containing 1 Gallus gallus 6 NC_052537.1 (15602906..15609526) COMTD1 Homologene, Ensembl , NCBI gene


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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
1545 Feather colour, Inhibitor of gold COMTD1 IG insertion, small (<=20) Naturally occurring variant GRCg6a 6 g.15675521_15675522insCT c.747_748insCT p.(Q250fs) XM_015288295.1; XP_015143781.1 2023 37068079

Cite this entry

Nicholas, F. W., Tammen, I., & Sydney Informatics Hub. (2023). OMIA:002667-9031: 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.

2023 Bi, H., Tranell, J., Harper, D.C., Lin, W., Li, J., Hellström, A.R., Larsson, M., Rubin, C.J., Wang, C., Sayyab, S., Kerje, S., Bed'hom, B., Gourichon, D., Ito, S., Wakamatsu, K., Tixier-Boichard, M., Marks, M.S., Globisch, D., Andersson, L. :
A frame-shift mutation in COMTD1 is associated with impaired pheomelanin pigmentation in chicken. PLoS Genet 19:e1010724, 2023. Pubmed reference: 37068079. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1010724.
1948 PUNNETT, R.C. :
Genetic studies in poultry; cream plumage. J Genet 48:327-32, 1948. Pubmed reference: 18905081. DOI: 10.1007/BF02986632.
1932 Taylor, LW :
An inhibitor of gold color in chickens. Proceedings of the sixth International Congress of Genetics (Ithaca, New York) :197–199., 1932.

Edit History

  • Created by Imke Tammen2 on 21 Apr 2023
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 21 Apr 2023