Dilution Genes

In the case of horse color, dilution means less concentrated color, which means lighter color. Genes always come in pairs, in animals that need two parents to produce an offspring...one from each parent.

Cream

  • The Cream gene is abbreviated "Cr" in genetic symbols. The gene for absence of Cream is abbreviated "cr".
  • The Cream gene is an INCOMPLETE DOMINANT gene. This means if one gene is present, it will show (manifest) one way, and if two copies are present, it will show (manifest) differently
  • One Cream gene will lighten the base colors to colors such as palomino or buckskin
  • Two Cream genes will lighten the base colors to colors such as cremello or perlino

Dun

  • The Dun gene is abbreviated "D" in genetic symbols. The gene for absence of Dun is abbreviated "d".
  • The Dun gene is a SIMPLE DOMINANT gene. This means that if one gene is present it will be expressed, and if two are present it looks no different than with one.
  • The Dun gene lightens the body color and leaves stripes of the original color along the back and on the upper legs, and often other places as well.

Champagne

  • The Champagne gene is abbreviated "Ch" in genetic symbols. The gene for absence of Champagne is abbreviated "ch".
  • The Champagne gene is a SIMPLE DOMINANT gene. This means that if one gene is present it will be expressed, and if two are present it looks no different than with one.
  • The Champagne gene lightens the body color and the skin and eye color. Champagne foals are born with pink skin and blue eyes; the pink skin color usually deepens and always develops freckles, and the eye color turns to amber or light brown.

Silver (dapple)

  • The Silver gene is abbreviated "Z" in genetic symbols. The gene for absence of Silver is abbreviated "z".
  • The Silver gene is a SIMPLE DOMINANT gene. This means that if one gene is present it will be expressed, and if two are present it looks no different than with one.
  • The Silver gene ONLY AFFECTS BLACK PIGMENT
  • The Silver gene dilutes the mane & tail on a horse with black pigment to a flaxen or silvery color.
  • The Silver gene dilutes the black pigment on the body to a chocolate-brown shade

Dilution Genes Color Names Chart

  1 Cream Gene 2 Cream Genes 1 or 2 Dun Genes 1 or 2 Champagne Genes 1 or 2 Silver Dapple Genes 1 Cream plus  1 or 2 Dun genes
Bay Buckskin Perlino Dun Amber  Bay Silver Dunskin
Dark Bay / Brown* Dark or Sooty Buckskin Perlino Dun Amber Bay Silver Dunskin
Black Smoky Black Smoky Cream Grulla Classic Black Silver or Silver Dapple Smoky Grulla
Chestnut Palomino Cremello Red Dun Gold No Effect Dunalino
 Seal Brown**  Brown Buckskin  Brown Cream Brown Dun   Sable Brown Silver   Brown Dunskin
* - these two colors are genetically different, but cannot be told apart visually, only by a DNA test which is quite new.  So they have generally been combined in one category.
** - meaning a horse that has been tested and proved to be seal brown (Ata or AtAt).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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