Cream Gene

The cream gene is responsible for a number of horse coat colors. Horses that have the cream gene in addition to a base coat color that is chestnut will become palomino if they are heterozygous, having one copy of the cream gene, or cremello, if they are homozygous. Similarly, horses with a bay base coat and the cream gene will be buckskin or perlino. A black base coat with the cream gene becomes the not-always-recognized smoky black or a smoky cream.

Cream horses, even those with blue eyes, are not white horses. Dilution coloring is also not related to any of the white spotting patterns.

The cream gene (CCr) is an incomplete dominant allele with a distinct dosage effect. The DNA sequence responsible for the cream colors is the cream allele, which is at a specific locus on the MATP gene. Its general effect is to lighten the coat, skin and eye colors. When one copy of the allele is present, it dilutes "red" pigment to yellow or gold, with a stronger effect on the mane and tail, but does not dilute black color to any significant degree. When two copies of the allele are present, both red and black pigments are affected; red hairs still become cream, and black hairs become reddish. A single copy of the allele has minimal impact on eye color, but when two copies are present, a horse will be blue-eyed in addition to a light coat color.

The cream gene is one of several hypomelanism or dilution genes identified in horses. Therefore, it is not always possible to tell by color alone whether the CCr allele is present without a DNA test. Other dilution genes that may mimic some of the effects of the cream gene in either single or double copies include the pearl gene, silver dapple gene, and the champagne gene. Horses with the dun gene also may mimic a single copy of the cream gene. To complicate matters further, it is possible for a horse to carry more than one type of dilution gene, sometimes giving rise to coloring that researchers call a pseudo double dilute.

The discovery of the cream gene had a significant effect on breeding, allowing homozygous blue-eyed creams to be recognized by many breed registries that had previously registered palominos but banned cremellos, under the mistaken notion that homozygous cream was a form of Albinism.

Read more about Cream Gene:  Colors Produced, Prevalence, Cream Mimics, Mixed Dilutes, Inheritance and Expression

Other articles related to "cream, cream gene, gene, creams":

Smoky Black
... Therefore, smoky black is a member of the cream family of coat color dilutions, and found in horse populations that have other cream gene-based colors such as palomino, buckskin ... All smoky blacks must have at least one parent with the cream gene, and a smoky black can be verified through DNA testing ... A smoky black horse usually appears to be a black horse and the dilution gene dilution factor is not visible ...
Cream Gene - Inheritance and Expression - Analogous Conditions in Other Animals
... The MATP gene is highly conserved, especially among mammals ... The human MATP gene is 82% identical to the mouse MATP gene, 79% identical to the rat MATP gene, 35% to the zebrafish version, and 30% identical to the fruitfly ... The gene is best known in humans as being the location of a mutation that results in human type IV oculocutaneous albinism (OCA4) ...
Colors Confused With Palomino
... with flaxen Lighter chestnuts with a light cream mane and tail carry a flaxen gene, but not a cream dilution ... with flaxen that may superficially resemble dark palomino, but there is no cream gene in the breed ... Cremellos carry two copies of the cream gene and have a light mane and tail but also a cream-colored hair coat, rosy pink skin and blue eyes ...
Smoky Black - Genetic Identification
... Genetically, smoky blacks are black horses heterozygous for the cream gene ... The mutation that produces the cream colors is on the MATP gene on equine chromosome 21 (ECA21), and is an incomplete dominant trait ... in identifying smoky blacks has led some to describe black as "masking" cream, however smoky blacks are more properly termed "cryptic creams." The location of the cream gene was published in ...
Equine Coat Colors - Other Coat Colors
... Buckskin A bay horse with one copy of the cream gene, a dilution gene that "dilutes" or fades the coat color to a yellow, cream, or gold while keeping the black points (mane, tail, legs) ... Champagne Produced by a different dilution gene than the cream gene ... Cream dilution, an incomplete dominant gene that produces a partially diluted coat color with one copy of the allele and a full dilution with two copies ...

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