The V locus determines whether a rabbit has vienna, which can cause white markings, blue eyes, and blue eyed whites.
No Vienna (VV)
Lack of the vienna gene causes normal expression of a rabbit's color. No white markings or blue eyes caused by the vienna gene, this is just the normal common rabbit color in the absense of vienna (most rabbits don't have vienna).
- Sometimes genotypes for rabbits are written without the V gene. For example, you may see a genotype that says A_B_C_D_E_enen, this is the genotype for a solid (not broken) Chestnut Agouti. The reason the V gene might be left out is because it's not one of the major genes, sometimes people leave it out on the assumption that the rabbit does not have vienna, which means the rabbit is A_ B_ C_ D_ E_ enen VV (but the VV part was just left off). Though this isn't always the case and it can be a good idea to check in with the person to find out for sure if the rabbit might have vienna or not.
Non Vienna Colors
The vienna gene, when there is only one copy, can either express as a normal colored rabbit (no visible signs of vienna) or have any mix of white markings and/or blue in the eyes. The presense or lack of visible markings/blue eyes is determined by hidden modifiers.
Because a rabbit with one copy of vienna may or may not show it, this makes it hard to rule out the possibility of a rabbit having the vienna gene. It also allows rabbits with the vienna gene to be showable in the US (where it is otherwise a disqualification when markings or blue eyes are visible), since US shows go by phenotype rather than genotype.
Vienna Marked Colors
Blue Eyed White (vv)
Two copies of the vienna gene cause a rabbit to be fully white with blue eyes. There will be no color on the rabbit at all, it will be a completely white rabbit (similar to albinism).
A common asked question: What would a rabbit with both cc albinism
and vv (blue eyed white) will look like? The answer is albino (cc). The rabbit would appear completely white with red eyes, even though the rabbit would also be BEW. The reason for this is that REW (albinism with cc) covers BEW. The same also holds true for Himalayan/Californian (ch_)
, in which case the rabbit would have red eyes and be completely white (looking just like a REW).