The cream dilution gene has varying effects on different base colours.
To obtain the exact ‘type name’ of cream dilute of the horse it is recommended to run this test in conjunction with Extension and Agouti genes.
- 20 to 30 - hair roots - envelope
- 5 mL - blood - K3 EDTA tube
- 2 to 5 working days
- Testing is useful where genetic confirmation is required or to define cream dilute horses aside from other genes with similar effects (such as champagne dilution and grey).
- Running this test will confirm if a horse is cream dilute. As mentioned the cream dilution gene has varying effects on different base colours. To obtain the exact ‘type name’ of cream dilute of the horse (eg. Buckskin, Palomino, Cremello…) it is recommended to run this test in conjunction with red factor and agouti.
The DNA test verifies the presence of the Cream dilution gene and presents results as one of the following:
- N/ - Non-dilute. Basic colours are black, bay or chestnut, in the absence of other modifying genes.
- N/Cr – Dilute. Heterozygous, one copy of the Cream (Cr) allele. Chestnut is diluted to palomino; bay is diluted to buckskin and black is diluted to smoky black. These colours can be further modified by the actions of other genes.
- Cr/ - Double dilute, two copies of the Cream (Cr) allele. Chestnut is diluted to cremello; bay is diluted to perlino and black is diluted to smoky cream.
The cream dilution gene affects both red and black pigment and is responsible for ‘diluting’ the carrying horse to lighter coat shades and colours. In many breeds this is often considered a highly desirable trait. Cream dilution is the gene responsible for palominos, buckskins, cremellos and many more.
Horses which carry one copy of the cream gene are identified as single dilutes; they are heterozygous for the cream dilution gene.
In the simplest case, a bay horse with a single copy of cream is known as a buckskin, a single dilute black horse is known as a smoky black and a single dilute chestnut or sorrel horse is known as a palomino. Single dilute horses have a 50% chance on passing the cream gene on to its offspring.
Horses which carry two copies of the cream gene are referred to as double dilutes; they are homozygous for the cream dilution gene. A bay horse with two copies of cream is known as a perlino. A black horse with two copies of cream is known as a smoky cream and a chestnut or sorrel horse that carries two copies of cream is known as a cremello. Double dilute horses will always pass on a copy of the cream gene to its foals.