Black and Pangaré
For a period, the seal brown phenotype - black or near-black coat with tan or red hairs on the soft areas - was described as a true black coat affected by pangaré, or mealy-factor. Pangaré is a quality common to the Przewalski's horse and so-called primitive horse breeds such as the Exmoor Pony. The trait is characterized by pale hairs, typically off-white to light tan, around the eyes, muzzle, and underside of the body. By this definition, seal browns would possess the recessive a/a Agouti genotype. Dan Phillip Sponenberg described seal browns in this way, suggesting that dark browns - by his definition, sooty bays - could be distinguished from seal browns by a quality of redness, stating " mealy effect generally is lighter and more yellow than residual nonblack areas (which tend to be redder) on very sooty horses."
This theory was discarded when the equine Agouti gene (ASIP) was sequenced in 2001, and all horses fitting the seal brown phenotype did not possess the homozygous recessive a/a Agouti genotype.
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