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Quaker Parakeet

Myiopsitta monachus

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Mutations Quaker Parakeets

Description of mutations

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Description of mutations

Blue

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The blue mutation is at present the most spread quaker parakeet mutation worldwide. It belongs to the autosomal recessive mutation. This mutation appeared in the forties of last century in Belgium at Mr. MJ Bruyneel from Steenokkerzeel. In terms of its formation mechanism the blue mutation is one of simplest mutations. Wildly colored quaker parakeet it’s possible to specify as the green bird. Green color is a result of overlapping two colors: blue and yellow. As a result of stopping psittacin production (yellow dyes) the bird loses its green color – becomes blue. In this mutation the color of eye, beak, paws and claws didn't change. However, so-called “mask” of quaker as well as its “tie” changed slightly in shade. From grey color with delicate coating of green became silver (greyish with additive blue). Quills of wings clearly darkened, received a nice dark blue color. Young of this mutation in the breeder eye can be recognized by the color of powder. In wild colored chicks powder is whitish with delicate coating of yellow color. Chicks of the blue mutation have white powder, and at the age of about 16 days appears the first blue feathers. Young fully fledge at about 45 day of life. They leave nest within a few consecutive days.

Blue mutation is spread on the entire globe and currently is the cheapest mutation of quaker. In Europe it cost about 100 euro. Thanks to that they constitutes excellent initial base for creating color combinations with other rarer mutations e.g. combining the blue mutation with the lutino we will receive the white bird – albino.

As I already mentioned the blue mutation belongs to the circle of autosomal recessive mutations, with reference to the above the sex of parents in the process of inheritance isn't significant. Below I present basic schemes of inheritance for the blue mutation.


blue x blue
100% blue


blue x green
100% green/blue


blue x green/blue
50% blue
50% green/blue


green/blue x green/blue
25% blue
50% green/blue
25% green


green/blue x green
50% green/blue
50% green


green – bird about savage coloration
blue – representative of the blue mutation
green/blue – splits that is bird about natural coloration vaccinated for the blue mutation


Parablue mutations

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To the circle of parblue mutation among others the turquoise mutation and aqua are ranked. They are characterized by the fact that they come from the same gene as the blue mutation – creates along with it so-called multi-allelic series. This means that information about the parblue and blue mutations is written in alleles (variants) of the same gene. Therefore, parblue mutations belong similarly as the blue mutation to the group of autosomal recessive mutations. Whereas, inheritance process of the parblue mutation in relation to the blue mutation is based on not full domination. Actually, it isn’t possible to obtain clear forms of combination the blue with parblue mutation. Therefore, combining the blue and parblue bird we will obtain in the phenotype the specimen of indirect color. It is caused due to the fact that bird of the blue with parblue combination has one gene of the blue and parblue mutation – is heterozygote. Genotype of such species it is possible to regard as split of the blue and parblue mutation.

Since the blue mutation of quaker parakeet is widely bred in large quantities, the parblue mutation was a natural process of occurrence. The contention matter is which parblue mutations appeared in quaker parakeet.

As I already mentioned, two basic parblue mutations were determined as the turquoise and aqua mutation. We can meet with these names in Europe and USA. The turquoise mutation is sometimes determined as the blue pastel e.g. in Rose-ringed Parakeet. However, it is an inappropriate name. In Australia instead of the aqua name, they often use “seagreen” expression that is the sea green. Both parblue mutations are characterized by the fact that they come from blue mutation. Name “parblue” mutation tells us that these mutations are “not full blue”, i.e. the process of stopping psittacin production unlike the blue mutation won't achieve one hundred percent. It is believed that aqua mutation amounts about 50%, whereas the turquoise mutation is characterized by the fact that reduction of psittacin reaches about 20% (locally even up to 80%). Next fundamental difference between the aqua and turquoise mutation is the way of “spilling” color. If the plumage color of aqua mutation is uniform, indirect between blue and green (sea green), so in the turquoise mutation it is irregularly mixed green-blue color with additionally emphasized green color stains. quaker_parakeet Birds of the aqua mutation are bluer, and the turquoise are greener. In this comparison a little fuss causes heterozygotes, which have indirect color between blue and turquoise or aqua. Therefore occurs that some breeders erroneously identify parblue mutations. Particularly because birds of clear parblue mutations are still very rare, mainly we deal with “hybrids” of the blue and parblue mutation. Such heterozygotes are at present quite common and are sold by dishonest breeders as “clear” specimens of the parblue mutation.

Confirmed and certain parblue mutation of the quaker parakeet is an aqua mutation. It is young mutation. Some breeders think that for the first time occurred probably in Belgium in 1995 yr. The first bird of this mutation was female, but already two years later reared the male. Next birds of this mutation found their way among others to Great Britain, Netherlands, Canada (1999), USA, Czech Republic and Poland (2011). Alternative sources indicate that for the first time this mutation appeared a few years earlier in Great Britain.

As I already earlier mentioned in the aqua mutation a reduction of psittacin takes place (yellow and red dyes) on the level about 50%. According to this reduction, birds of this mutation gained very interesting, difficult to describe green-blue color. Their color is simply a mix of green and blue color. Quills of this mutation are darker compared to wildly colored birds, whereas slightly brighter in relation to birds of the blue mutation. “Tie” color of the quaker aqua is very similar to the color of quaker blue. However, the color of eye, beak, claws and legs similarly as in the blue mutation didn't change. Birds of the aqua clear form mutation are still very rare, but heterozygotes of the blue and aqua mutation are more common, which by inexperienced breeders are sometimes determined as turquoise mutation.

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I met with a few mentions about turquoise mutation in quaker parakeet in Europe and USA. Majority of such revelations isn't real, however some birds which I saw more likely are as the turquoise mutation than aqua. Increases circle of breeders who think that turquoise mutation in quaker parakeet could already appear, among others Bob Nelson states that his birds, parblue are a turquoise mutation. In the book entitled “A Guide to Color Mutations and Genetics in Parrots” published in 2002 yr. Dr. Terry Martin said that this mutation occurs in Australia, however for the current moments I think that it was unconfirmed and untimely information. However, I believe that it is only a matter of time until the turquoise mutation in quaker parakeet, if already didn't, will appear and then will perpetuate.

Below I present the scheme of inheritance the blue mutation with parblue.


parablue x green
100% green/parablue


green/blue x green/parablue
25% green
25% green/blue
25% green/parablue
25% blue, parablue


green/blue x parablue, blue
25% blue
25% green/blue
25% green/parablue
25% blue, parablue


green/blue x parablue
50% green/parablue
50% blue, parablue


blue x green/parablue
50% green/blue
50% blue, parablue


blue x blue, parablue
50% blue
50% blue, parablue


blue x parablue
100% blue, parablue


green/parablue x parablue, blue
25% parablue
25% green/blue
25% green/parablue
25% blue, parablue


blue, parablue x parablue, blue
25% parablue
50% blue, parablue
25% blue


parablue x parablue, blue
50% parablue
50% blue, parablue


Pieds

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Pied mutation consists on the eumelanin reduction (dark dye) both from plumage as well as bird body. The pieds should have bright discolorations on body, paws, claws and of course in plumage. Currently in the USA a few birds were observed which have discolorations in plumage (yellow patches), however they didn't prove to be the real representatives of pied mutation. To be able to talk about the real mutation of specimen about pied features it would have to in the genotype pass those features to their offspring

In spite of it is possible to expect that “spotted” pied mutation will appear very quickly.

To the group of pieds mutation are also ranked so-called Dark-eyed-clear (Dark-eyed yellow) mutation. It is autosomal recessive mutation (schemes of inheritance identical as for the blue mutation). It consists on the reduction of dark dye in a large extent, in some parrots species even up to 100%. And exactly such a pied mutation managed to obtain after opaline pair in Florida in 1990 year. Birds of dark-eyed-clear mutation are similar to birds of the lutino mutation. Which means that in their plumage dominates a yellow color, paws and claws are bright. We notice the important difference in the eye color. Birds of the dark-eyed-clear mutation how very name says have black eyes. Another interesting fact is that yellow color of plumage is more intense in relation to lutino mutation. As far as the difference in color intensity of plumage in young is minimal, then in adult birds without a problem it is possible to notice it in shades of yellow between the dark-eyed-clear and NSL lutino mutations as well as SL lutino mutation. The DEC mutation is darker from both lutino mutations. Dark-eyed-clear mutation in quaker parakeet is characterized by one more feature, that is “mask” and “tie” of young this mutation are intensively yellow. In adulthood, these elements of the plumage undergo lightening.


Lutino mutations

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At quaker parakeet we deal with two lutino mutations. With the autosomal recessive NSL mutation and with the autosomal sex-linked SL mutation. Both of these mutations look almost identical. However, a mechanism of inheritance is different.

Scheme of inheritance the lutino SL mutation:

1,0 SLlutino x 0,1 green
100% 1,0 green/SLlutino
100% 0,1 SLlutino


1,0 green x 0,1 SLlutino
100% 1,0 green/SLlutino
100% 0,1 green


1,0 green /SLlutino x 0,1 green
50% 1,0 green/SLlutino
50% 1,0 green
50% 0,1 SLlutino
50% 0,1 green


1,0 green /SLlutino x 0,1 SLlutino
50% 1,0 SLlutino
50% 1,0 green/SL
50% 0,1 SLlutino
50% 0,1 green


1,0 SLlutino x 0,1 SLlutino
100% 1,0 SLlutino
100% 0,1 SLlutino


1,0 – male
0,1 – female
green – bird about savage coloration
SLlutino – representative of the lutino mutation sex-linked
green/SLlutino – splits that is bird about natural coloration vaccinated for the lutino mutation sex-linked


Schemes of inheritance the lutino NSL mutation are identical as for blue mutation.


Lutino mutation for the first time was probably observed in the 40's of last century in the Berlin ZOO. Unfortunately, then it disappeared. Then it was the first colorful mutation of quaker parakeet. Again in Europe the lutino mutation appeared at the end of seventies.

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I know the stories of few breeders (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands), which after a pair of quaker lutino brought up green young. This indicates about the fact that their parental pairs consisted of two different lutino mutations. On this base I can claim that both lutino mutations in Europe are already quite popular. At first in Europe dominated the NSL mutation, presently is opposite.

In the USA are also known both lutino mutations, they appeared almost in the same time. In 1996 year Bob Nelson bought one young male of the NSL lutino mutation, along with its wild colored parents. Next at the turn of few years without more considerable problems he perpetuated this mutation in the USA. At present is in possession of few breeders. The Lutino SL mutation for the first time appeared in the USA in 1995 yr. on Florida in the Hurricane aviary. From imported normally colored pair obtained a young female of the SL mutation. Next, Kevin Clubb spent 12 years above perpetuation this mutation in the USA.

Visually the lutino mutation it is probably one from prettiest current perpetuated mutations of quaker parakeet. In this mutation as a result of stopping the eumelanin production (dark dye) the natural green color was replaced by yellow psittacin. Yellow color of plumage the SL mutation in relation to the NSL mutation is gently lighter (in young birds this difference is less noticeable). It is an only noticeable difference in the phenotype between these two lutino mutations. In both lutino mutations dirty greyish quaker plumage that is the forehead, front of the neck (throat) and breast with underbelly was white-yellow-cream color. Quills which naturally are dark blue colored passed into the white color. Reduction eumelanin in the lutino mutation occurred also in the bird body, so the skin and claws became brighter of “flesh-colored” color. Eyes how it is possible to expect in the lutino mutation are of course red. However, the beak color of didn't change.


Pallid

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In Europe pallid mutation appeared in the eighties of last century. It is recessive sex-linked mutation. Similarly like the parblue mutation with blue mutation, the same pallid mutation creates multi-allelic series with the lutino SL mutation. In other words pallid is a variant of the lutino SL mutation. Process of inheritance the parblue mutation from blue is based on codomination. Due to the fact that lutino SL mutation and parlutino (pallid) are recessive sex-linked mutations, the process of inheritance this mutation relative to each other is different. In recessive sex-linked mutations genes of the given mutation are placed down on the X sex chromosome. Since the female has only one such a chromosome “connection” of SL ino with parlutino mutation is possible only in males. So it isn’t possible to obtain the combination of pallid SL ino in female.

Example diagrams of the possibility to obtain offspring as a result of linking parental pairs based on SLino (SLlutino) and pallid mutations.

1,0 pallidino x 0,1 green
50% 1,0 green/ino
50% 1,0 green/pallid
50% 0,1 ino
50% 0,1 green


1,0 pallidino x 0,1 ino
50% 1,0 pallidino

50% 1,0 ino
50% 0,1 ino
50% 0,1 pallid


1,0 ino x 0,1 pallid
100% 1,0 pallidino
100% 0,1 ino


1,0 pallid x 0,1 ino
100% 1,0 pallidino
100% 0,1 pallid


quaker_parakeet Similar like in SLlutino we deal with the reduction of eumelanin in the pallid mutation. The difference consists on that in the SL ino mutation eumelanin reduction amounts up to 100% but in the pallid mutation it isn’t full, so gene ino responsible for blocking the eumelanin production was only partly activated. In this case the reduction creates on the level about 50%. As a result of partial eumelanin reduction the bird received a nice brightly green color with delicate yellow coating. The mask and tie of bird, similarly to paws and claws slightly were lightened. The color of beak didn't change. We can recognize the young of this mutation similarly as lutino, right away after hatching from egg because they have red eyes. However, unlike the lutino eyes of young mutations the pallid with time darken and after about 7 days are already more clearly darker. Adult birds have dark red almost black eyes. Red shade is only seen in the strong light and in photos taken using a flash. Quills of quaker pallid mutation received a light brown color with the cinnamon. And this detail in the initial history of this mutation caused considerable confusion. Not long time ago such looking birds were regarded as the cinnamon mutation. Still in many countries this way is. Only an availability of SL lutino mutation caused that by crossing these two mutations breeders had reached a conclusion that quaker categorized to the cinnamon mutation are actually representatives of the pallid mutation. How I already earlier presented thanks to the connection of SL lutino and pallid mutation, it is possible to obtain a visual combination of pallid ino (only males). It is very nicely looking bird. Reduction of eumelanin in this case reaches about 90%, as a result the bird is practically yellow with “soiled slightly” quills and with delicate coating of green color.

In 1993 year a known breeder of quaker parakeet Bob Nelson (Oregon USA) effected the import from Belgium of a few birds the blue mutation and how then they thought “the cinnamon” mutation. Currently in the USA birds of the pallid mutation are still regarded as cinnamon mutation and often are determined as cinnamon read eyes. It isn't also possible to exclude that real cinnamon mutation could already appeared in the USA. However, for current moment I don't have information which would confirm it.


Opaline ("Red")

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Opaline mutation is one of the youngest established available mutations in Europe. In 2001 yr. Spanish breeder Mr. Xavier Favoreu effected the import of two females, which were caught alive from the natural environment in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Thanks to the fact that opal mutation is a sex-linked mutation (schemes of inheritance as in lutino SL), in the short time it spread to other Europe countries: Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic and other. However, it is still rare and quite expensive. The female costs about 400 euro, whereas the price of male reaches up to 900 euro.

In opaline mutation the quaker parakeet obtained interesting unevenly brightened plumage. This is due to the diversified pigment distribution. Because the opal mutation doesn’t reduces it but changes its local distribution, so in one place we have it more and in other less. In this particular case it regards to melanin. In this mutation also strengthening of psittacin took place (yellow color). Color of the bird from uniformly green (wild form) turned into difficult to describe lightened green color intertwined with unevenly spilt yellow dye. The effect of yellow color is stronger in young birds, especially on “face”. In adult species the mask loses its intense yellowish color. Quills of wings in a large extent kept their normal color. The exception constitutes whitish discoloration along the wing creating a belt, which exposes after its unfolded. It is very often effect in the opaline mutation amongst parrots. The color of nails, beak, eyes and paws didn't change.

In the USA first young of this mutation was obtained in 1988 in Florida. However, erroneously they were regarded as the pallid mutation. The American and European line of opal mutation comes from the alternative source. Although, the birds look almost identically. The difference is that some American birds have more yellow “mask”, whereas other contrary are characterized by less intense plumage. I think that it results from different breeding lines, and from the fact that birds of one mutation sometimes have different minimal shades in colors. Recently some breeders from the USA noticed that with their “pallid” mutation is something wrong. Young hatch with dark black eyes. As a result of interbreeding the SL lutino and “pallid” mutation, wild colored males were obtained, and should be pallidino. Unfortunately, in the USA still erroneously commonly are used pallid names in relation to the opaline mutation. Some American breeders went farther in their fantasy. As I already earlier mentioned it is possible to meet young of this mutation having quite intense yellowish coating on the “mask”. For this reason opaline mutation gained another name – Yellow Face, and in the combination with blue mutation – White Face. Effect of yellow “mask” the bird loses with age. Combinations of the opaline with blue and pallid mutation (named commonly cinnamon in the USA) named Ice Blue or Snow Blue. Another irregularity concerning this mutation is ranking it among the cinnamon mutation and determining as Dark Eyed Cinnamon. Another name with which we can meet of the opaline mutation in the USA and Europe is Rainbow. This name clearly expresses the external appearances of bird.

Such a tendency of “inventing” new mutations we can observe amongst breeders around the world. An excellent example is Rose-ringed Parakeet. More than once I heard that this parrot has it at least hundred or even two hundred. In fact there are countless combinations of the mutations, which new names are assigned. Very often these names are wrong and don’t have anything to do with the genetic reflection. Thanks to that dishonest breeders often sell such “new mutations” after exorbitant prices.


Cinnamon

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The cinnamon mutation is another recessive sex-linked mutation (schemes of inheritance as in lutino SL), which appeared in quaker parakeet. As I already mentioned in the description of pallid mutation, at first birds of this mutation were regarded exactly as representatives of the cinnamon mutation. Therefore, in older literature we can meet with information that the cinnamon mutation occurred in the eighties.

Real cinnamon mutation was imported from Argentina in 2002 yr. by recalled already Spanish breeder Mr. Xavier Favoreu. These were two females from catching.

Visually birds of the cinnamon mutation have color similar to wildly colored birds. Green color gained a minimal coating of the cinnamon. However, it is possible to notice the significant difference on bird quills. Dark-blue color was firmly covered by cinnamon color. Paws and claws of the bird were brightened, whereas the color of beak remained unchanged. Eyes obtained dark plum color.


Mutations greygreen


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At the end of nineties in Czech Republic the first birds of greygreen mutation were observed. Thanks to the fact that inheritance process of this mutation was dominant, greygreen mutation quickly spread on the entire Europe.

Since the greygreen mutation is a fully dominating mutation, it occurs in two factors, which in the phenotype (external appearance) don't differ. Real nature of the greygreen mutation we can notice only after its combining with the blue mutation. Bird of such a combination obtains greyish color. Due to these reason birds of the combination greygreen with blue mutation are determined as grey. Amongst breeders a common mistake is calling birds of the greygreen mutation the Olive due to its plumage color. It’s very improper attempt, which leads to considerable mistakes. Real olive mutation is a double factor of the so-called dark factor mutation.

In the greygreen mutation general tone of plumage in quaker darkened. From bright, “cheerful” green transformed into dark green, soiled slightly of the oil color. Once I met with statement that quaker of the grey mutation looks like someone bathed the green bird in petroleum. As far as green plumage transformed into the olive color, the same dark-blue quills transformed into darker color similar to black. Bird tail also gained dark color. However the beak, legs, claws and eyes didn't change their color.

Schemes of inheritance the greygreen dominant mutation:

greygreen(SF) x green
50% green
50% greygreen(SF)


greygreen(SF) x greygreen(SF)
25% green
50% greygreen(SF)
25% greygreen(DF)


greygreen (DF) x green
100% greygreen(SF)


greygreen(DF) x greygreen(SF)
50% greygreen(SF)
50% greygreen(DF)


greygreen(DF) x greygreen(DF)
100% greygreen(DF)


greygreen(SF) – bird of the greygreen mutation having in his genotype one gene responsible for the occurrence of greygreen mutation, from English singles factor greygreen(DF) – bird of the greygreen mutation having in his genotype two genes responsible for the occurrence of greygreen mutation, from English double factor


The second greygreen mutation which we can observe in quaker parakeet is an autosomal recessive mutation (scheme of inheritance like in the blue mutation), which occurs in the USA. In 2000 year Bob Nelson from Oregon purchased one bird, which was brought up in the wild colony of quaker parakeet in Florida. At turn of few years he managed to establish this mutation, and based on it to bring up a few curiously looking combinations.

Beyond the different mechanism of inheritance both greygreen mutations differ also in external appearance. European mutation is olive green color. In comparison the American mutation has clearly darker color.


Dark fakcor


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As I already mentioned birds of the European grey mutation and dark factor mutation are very similar. Only the breeder with huge experience can distinguish these two mutations. For this reason and from the fact that the dark factor mutation appeared shortly after the grey mutation in the same country (Czech Republic) they are often confused.

Dark factor mutation is co-dominating mutation, which means that not fully dominant. Therefore, a difference in the phenotype appears in this mutation (external appearance) of birds with one and two factors. Cause of this difference is the fact that birds with one factor (SF) have one gene of this mutation, and specimens with two factors (DF) have two genes. In this mutation amount of mutated genes has influences on the bird external appearance. DF specimens are darker than SF birds. Single factor of this mutation in popular way is determined as dark green, whereas double factor as olive.

dark green(SF) x green
50% green
50% dark green(SF)


dark green(SF) x dark green(SF)
25% green
50% dark green(SF)
25% olive(DF)


oliwkowy(DF) x green
100% dark green(SF)


dark green(SF) x olive(DF)
50% dark green(SF)
50% olive(DF)


olive(DF) x olive(DF)
100% olive(DF)

green – bird about savage coloration
dark green – bird of dark factor mutation having one gene of the mutation (SF)
olive – bird of dark factor mutation having two genes of the mutation (DF)


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How I earlier wrote the grey mutation due to its appearance, which is very similar to the dark factor mutation, very often is also popularly determine as olive. Therefore, during purchase of birds it is necessary to pay attention what really acquires. Only very experienced breeder can identify these two mutations. The matter becomes simpler if they create combination with the blue mutation. Grey mutation in combination with blue will obtain greyish color. Whereas the dark factor mutation at SF will give us the bird of kobalt color, in popular way called kobalt. At DF we will obtain the parrot of dark grey color, even black. This spectacular combination gained the mauve name.

At the moment the birds of dark factor mutation is much less than greygreen mutation, therefore the price of this mutation is quite high – about 400 euro.


Fallow


Ptaki mutacji płowej pojawiły się w Teksasie w 1996 roku. Ta mutacja okazała się dosyć trudną do ustalenia. Nadal są prowadzone prace w tym kierunku. Najlepsze wyniki hodowlane mają Ben i Janice Liverman, którym udało się odchować kilka ptaków tej mutacji.

The fallow mutation is autosomal recessive mutation (inheritance like in the blue mutation). The gene which causes this mutation is a variant (allele) of the same gene, which creates the autosomal lutino mutation. Young of this mutation similarly as lutino mutation are born with brightly red eyes, which then gently darken, however in adults are still clearly red. In this mutation we deal with blocking the eumelanin conversion (dark color). Due to the entire bird plumage gained gently lightened color. It is possible to say that green quaker was covered by the yellowish mist. Paws and claws were lightened. However, the bird beak remained of unchanged color.

As far as the fallow mutation isn’t too impressive, so in the combination with other mutations can create interesting secondary combinations.

© Paweł Pawłowski
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