Friday, September 19, 2008

Horse genetics & color   posted by Razib @ 9/19/2008 10:09:00 AM

Thank god for animals and their resemblance to humans to elucidate general patterns and relationships. Missense Mutation in Exon 2 of SLC36A1 Responsible for Champagne Dilution in Horses:
The purpose of this study was to uncover the molecular basis for the champagne hair color dilution phenotype in horses. Here, we report a DNA base substitution in the second exon of the horse gene SLC36A1 that changes an amino acid in the transmembrane domain of the protein from threonine to arginine. The phenotypic effect of this base change is a diminution of hair and skin color intensity for both red and black pigment in horses, and the resulting dilution has become known as champagne. This is the first genetic variant reported for SLC36A1 and the first evidence for its effect on eye, skin, and hair pigmentation. So far, no other phenotypic effects have been attributed to this gene. This discovery of the base substitution provides a molecular test for horse breeders to test their animals for the Champagne gene (CH).

Is horse color a big deal in terms of value? I wonder what the reason why there are so many horse pigmentation papers as opposed to a cheaper multi-colored animal like dog or cat.

Related: White horses and blonde humans: a genetic connection? KITLG makes you whiter.

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