Coat Phenotype: The Sphynx has a condition known as Hypotrichosis. It is not truly hairless, but appears to be so because it only has a relatively small number of soft down hairs.
Samples Accepted: Blood, Buccal Swabs
Gene Information: KRT71
Test Information: This mutation test identifies a single base change in the KRT71 gene. This trait is recessive; however, the Sphynx mutation is in the same gene as the Devon Rex mutation, and is dominant to it. It is therefore possible to have Sphynx that are compound heterozygotes – that is, having one copy of each mutation, Sphynx and Devon Rex. In this case, two carriers which were bred together could produce kittens with curly coats like the Devon Rex.
Gandolfi, B., Outerbridge, CA., Beresford, LG., Myers, JA., Pimentel, M., Alhaddad, H., Grahn, JC., Grahn, RA., Lyons, LA.: The naked truth: Sphynx and Devon Rex cat breed mutations in KRT71. Mamm Genome 21:509-15, 2010. Pubmed reference: 20953787. Doi: 10.1007/s00335-010-9290-6.
Further information is available at the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals website.