The DNA test verifies the presence of the champagne mutation. Champagne is a coat dilution modifier.
- 20 to 30 - hair roots - envelope
- 5 mL - blood - K3 EDTA tube
- 2 to 5 working days
- Equigerminal offers testing for the dominant champagne gene-mutation. DNA testing may be useful in cases whereby a horse has previously tested negative for cream or silver dilutions, but appears to have a lightened-coat.
- Testing is also used to determine Homozygosity of the champagne gene.
The DNA test verifies the presence of the champagne mutation and presents results as one of the following:
- N/ – Non-champagne horse.
- N/Ch – Positive for dominant champagne gene, possessing one inherited copy. Coat will be diluted accordingly. Will pass champagne gene to approximately 50% of the offspring.
- Ch/ – Positive for dominant champagne gene, possessing two inherited copies. Coat will be diluted accordingly.
Champagne dilution is caused by a dominant gene, meaning that a horse with a single copy of the Champagne gene will have Champagne characteristics.
The Champagne dilution gene lightens a horse’s coat color by diluting the pigment.
The specific color produced will depend on the horse’s base color: bay coats to a golden brown, black coats can lighten to a dark brown, and chestnut coats to an apricot or gold.
A horse can carry more than one dilution gene which can further affect coat color. Unlike cream dilution, there are no visual differences between a horse with one copy or two copies of Champagne.
Although similar to the cream, pearl and dun dilutions, the Champagne gene has certain characteristics that distinguish it from other dilutions.
Common characteristics of a Champagne horse include pinkish freckled or mottled skin, a shiny coat that is often slightly darker in the winter, and a hazel eye color.
Champagne horses are typically born with a blue eye color that evolves to a hazel or an amber colour and pink skin that becomes darker and more freckled over time, especially around the eyes and muzzle.
A homozygous Champagne horse will always pass one copy of the Champagne gene to its foal. Heterozygous horses have a 50% chance of passing the gene on to its foals.