From Cow
Albinism in a calf[1]

Albinism is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disease of cattle worldwide[2].

True albinino, or amelanistic, cattle lack melanin and are white with no markings and with unpigmented pink eyes[3]. Unlike other mammals where albinism is due to a defect in tyrosinase activity within cells, albinism appears to be due to mutations in lactate dehydrogenase A activity in cattle[4].

This disease is also observed in Chediak-Higashi syndrome in Wagyu (Japanese Black cattle, associated with bleeding disorders and abnormalities in leucocytes[5].

Congenital deafness has also been reported in hypopigmented Fleckvieh breeds.


  1. University of Saskatchewan
  2. Schmutz SM et al (2004) A form of albinism in cattle is caused by a tyrosinase frameshift mutation. Mamm Genome 15(1):62-67
  3. Jayasekera U & Leipold H (1981) Albinism in US Charolais cattle. Ann Genet Sel Anim 13(3):213-218
  4. Foreman ME et al (1994) Mapping the bovine albino locus. J Hered 85(4):318-320
  5. Kunieda T et al (2000) Localization of the locus responsible for Chediak-Higashi syndrome in cattle to bovine chromosome 28. Anim Genet 31(2):87-90