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Horse Coat Color Genetics

A brief overview of basic horse coat colors.

Stephanie Bruce

on 1 February 2015

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Transcript of Horse Coat Color Genetics

photo (cc) Malte Sörensen @ flickr
E Gene
Horse Coat Color Genetics
Smoky Black
Smoky Cream
A Gene
Grey Gene
The Paints!
Appaloosa Patterns
Varnish Roan
Mouse Dun/ Grulla
Buckskin Dun
Amber Champagne
The White Gene
Classic Champagne
Gold Champagne
Extreamly Rare
If one W is present the all other coat colors are covered up
Causes a lack of pigment, resulting in pink skin, white hair, and sometimes blue eyes
The dominant homozygous condition (WW) is fatal.
Horse can be born any color, but will gradually turn white with age
This coloring is dominant so any horse with one copy of this allele (G_) will exibit this phenotype
When trying to determine the differnce between the gray and white phenotypes look at the skin color. The gray will have black skin where the white will have pink
This gene controles whether or not the horse will have black hair.
If no black hair is present (ee) the the result is a chestnut horse.
If black hair is present (E_) the the result is a bit more complicated...
This gene controls
the distribution of the black hairs in a horses coat. When the A allele is present (A_), then the black hairs are "pushed" to the points resulting in a bay.
All chestnut (and black) horses
have an
aa genotype
A_, E_, CCcr
ee, CCcr
E_, aa, CCcr
ee, CcrCcr
A_, E_, CcrCcr
E_, aa, CcrCcr
Red/ Claybank Dun
ee, CC, D_
E_, A_, CC, D_
E_, aa,CC, D_
ee, aa, CC, CH_
E_, A_, CC, CH_
E_, aa, CC, CH_
least common
look like they are dipped in white paint
this gene may be similar to gene W, in that it cannot exist in the homozygous dominat form
This paint pattern is a combination of the other two. Thus its genitic make up will be some combination of Tobiano and one of the Overo patterns.
Frame Overo
There are three patterns recognized by the American Paint Horse Association:
1- Toboano
Typically exibit:
Dark head
white feet/ legs
white marking that cross the topline
borders of markings are "gray" (dark skin covered by white hair)
The only one of the paint patterns to be linked to a specific gene. TO/to
There are three types of overos.
The genetics of this paint marking are still being studied.
white feet and legs
often have belly spots
white body "framed by dark
often have blue eyes
dark pigmetation around ears that may also cover forehead and eyes
dark pigmentation around mouth that may extend up the side of the face
cheast spot(s) of varying size that may extent up the neck
flank spots may extend over barrel and loin
varying size spots at the base of the tail
one or both eyes may be blue
Core characteristics besides coat color are:
mottled skin
striped hoves
visible white sclera
An appaloosa can be registered with out displaying any coat pattens as long as they display the mottled skin and atleast one of the other two characteristics. This type of registration is called "regular" regisrtation. Horses with no identifyable appaloosa characteristics but two registered parents are given a special limited registration status called "non-characteristic".
A white horse with spots over the entire body.
A white patch over but not limited to the hip area. May or may not have spots of the base coat color in the blanket. If no spotting, then this color can also be called snowcap.
White spots of flecks on a dark body. These spots/ flecks typically increase in number and/ or size with age.
Intermixed dark and light hairs with lighter colored areas on the forehead, jowels, frontal bones of the face, over the back, loins, and hips. Darker areas ("varnish marks" are present along the edges of the frontal bones, legs, stifle, above the eye, point of the hip, behind the elbow.
Roaning over the croup and hips with a blanket of white over the hips or a larger area. There may also be spots present in the blanket.
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