Horses have approximately 20,000 different genes. Each horse has two copies of every gene; one is received from the sire (male) and the other is received from the dam (female). The combination of genes that a horse has is referred to as its genotype. The characteristic that we see, such as coat color, is a result of the horse’s genotype and we refer to these characteristics as the horse’s phenotype. Some diseases are also a result of the horse’s genotype. Greater than 30 genetic disorders have been characterized in the horse to date.
- Provide horse owners with basic information on equine genetics and genetic diseases commonly found in horses.
- Describe options for genetic disease testing in horses.
This project is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive grant no. 2009-55205-05254 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Animal Genome Program.
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