Because the mutation responsible for the genotype is recessive, a dog can be a carrier of the dilution gene and still appear to have a normal coat color.

About D - Locus Color

The MLPH gene codes for a protein called melanophilin, which is responsible for transporting and fixing melanin-containing cells. A mutation in this gene leads to improper distribution of these cells, causing a dilute color coat. This mutation affects both euphaemelin and phaeomelin pigments, so black, brown, and yellow dogs can all be affected by the dilution. However, this effect is more pronounced in black dogs. A dilute black (BB or Bb) is generally known as charcoal. A diluted chocolate (bb) lab is often referred as silver, and a diluted yellow (ee) is known as a champagne.

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