Journal of Applied Genetics

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 519–525 | Cite as

Distribution of coat-color-associated alleles in the domestic horse population and Przewalski’s horse

  • Monika Reissmann
  • Lutfi Musa
  • Sonia Zakizadeh
  • Arne Ludwig
Animal Genetics • Original Paper


Considering the hidden mode of inheritance of some coat-color-associated alleles, we investigated the presence/absence of coat-color-associated alleles in 1093 domestic horses of 55 breeds and 20 specimens of Przewalski’s horse. For coat-color genotyping, allele specific PCR, pyrosequencing and Li-Cor analyses were conducted on 12 coat-color-associated alleles of five genes. Our data provide deep insight into the distribution of coat-color-associated alleles within breeds. We found that the alleles for the basic colorations (bay, black, and chestnut) are widely distributed and occur in nearly all breeds. Alleles leading to dilutions or patterns are rare in domestic breeds and were not found in Przewalski’s horse. Higher frequencies of these alleles are only found in breeds that are selected for their expressed phenotypes (e.g., Kinsky horse, Lewitzer, Tinker). Nevertheless, our study produced strong evidence that molecular testing of the coat color is necessary for well-defined phenotyping to avoid unexpected colorations of offspring that can result in legal action.


ASIP Kit MC1R Pmel17 SLC45A2 



The authors thank Christiane Slawik (Würzburg, Germany), Tobias Knoll (Zenting, Germany), Sergey Knyasev (Novosibirsk, Russia), and Marina Politova (Moscow, Russia) for allocation of hair material and the many horse breeders who supported this study. This study was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (LU 852/7-4).

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Plant Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika Reissmann
    • 1
  • Lutfi Musa
    • 2
  • Sonia Zakizadeh
    • 3
  • Arne Ludwig
    • 4
  1. 1.Albrecht Daniel Thaer InstituteHumboldt University BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Faculty of Animal ProductionUniversity of KhartoumKhartoumSudan
  3. 3.Department of Animal ScienceJihad-Agricultural Higher Educational ComplexMashadIran
  4. 4.Department of Evolutionary GeneticsLeibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife ResearchBerlinGermany

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