Zygosity of Leopards? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-08-2013, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Zygosity of Leopards?

I am a fan of Appaloosas, but their genetics to me are nothing less than confusing. I know that true snowcaps and few spots are homozygous for color and will pass on color to 100% of their foals. (Of course how it is expressed varies from foal to foal.) Correct? Then I was reading on a specific line of leopard to leopard breeding, getting leopard foals for generations. I am familiar with LP and PATN, but which ones govern which traits?

Basically, I would love for someone to break this down to me. How can people get exclusively leopard foals? Is it LP that adds the spots, then PATN that governs patterns such as snowcaps and blankets? Or am I completely wrong? I wouldn't mind admitting it if someone can turn me in the right direction. Thanks in advance for those who can enlighten me. Also, visuals aid in the learning process, so examples would be fabulous. Disregard the fact that I will jump at the chance to stare at a picture of an appaloosa for hours.
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-08-2013, 03:21 PM
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Subbing because Appy genes make my brain hurt :)

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Originally Posted by spookychick13
What Lone said.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-08-2013, 04:54 PM
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Lp governs spots and characteristics.

PATN governs white/pattern.

Beyond that, you are asking for the impossible - at least at this time. The problem is PATN is a complex, and depending upon the sequence of the nucleotides (cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine) of the DNA in the genes involved, and the genes themselves involved (PATN involves multiple genes), PATN can exert different influences on the pattern. To my knowlege, that is all we know definitively, although the Appaloosa Project is conducting ongoing research to try to define exactly how a particular pattern is turned on.

As if that isn't enough, varnish roan is thought to be on a totally different gene, which further complicates the pattern issue.

As to your question about why some lines result primarily or exclusively in leopards, it is thought that the lines involved result in a consistent PATN that results in the leopard pattern.

As you can see, it is a difficult genetic issue to figure out, and there is not nearly the interest or funding available for specific horse genetics as for human genetics. If there were major funding for such a project we would have all the answers now, but I don't see that happening in the near future.

If you have an ongoing interest, you can become a member of the Appaloosa Project, which is conducting research on PATN at the moment...
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