Archive | January, 2012

Splash Project Page updates

I want to thank everyone who has shared their testing results this last week. Results have been coming in, and new horses are being sent for testing. Meanwhile, I have been slowly updating the lists on the Splash Project Page as I get the information. You’ll see a lot of horses have been added, including homozygous, heterozygous and negative tests. The only thing we are missing at this point is any horses that have tested for SW2 or SW3, so those remain a mystery for the moment.

There are still more results to add, and still more horses with pending tests. As some of you are aware, I was called home to Alabama for a family emergency. That means my ability to post pictures will be somewhat limited until I return home. When I get back, I will add those and get back to some of the unfinished blog posts on non-splash topics.  (If you have a horse on that Splash Project Page without a photograph, but want one included, just send me a message. I do not post photos on this blog without specific permission, but I never turn down someone who will allow me to use a picture!)

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Results are starting to come in on the Splash tests


Some of the first test results from the new Splash White tests have started trickling in, and they are proving really interesting. I hope to update the Splash Project page over the weekend, but here is some of what we have learned so far.

As far as I am aware, those horses that have tested positive have all had the SW1 gene. That means the exact nature of the other two versions (SW2 and SW3) is still a mystery.

So far, with really limited results, it does look like in identifying SW1 researchers may have found the gene responsible for Classic Splash. That was the pattern originally described by Klemola in the 1930s. Even more exciting is that the one horse known to have tested as homozygous does have the classic pattern. That horse can be seen at the bottom of the first post on this forum.

Another interesting horse in that group is the homozgyous tobiano. There had been rumors that the KIT gene had been ruled out as a location for Splash White. I had explained why the KIT location was important in limiting the number of color mutations in this previous post, “Location Matters.” If the general rule that was explained there – that a horse should only have two mutations on any given gene – holds true, then finding a horse carrying two KIT mutations and splash white should tells us that splash white is not on KIT. The two tobiano genes would already take the two KIT slots. It is my understanding that there have been at least two horses tested as homozygous for tobiano that also have the Splash White gene.

That opens the door to the idea that there may be a lot more tobianos out there carrying SW1 than we might have previously expected, because  it isn’t an either/or situation. A horse could carry and pass along both patterns. What is also interesting is that tobiano has a way it sometimes skews that creates a dark patch with an odd “point” that drops from the croup. Some of us have long wondered if that might come from Splash, and now a horse with that kind of pattern has tested to be a carrier. It will be interesting to see if more horses with that kind of “point” also test positive, especially those that do not have such splash-like facial markings.

The other big news out of the early results is that there are horses that are coming back with blue eyes that test negative for all three of the Splash genes. It is really too early to know exactly what that means. Obviously more things cause blue eyes than just Classic Splash because they found those two other genes. It may be that there are still more versions, or it may be that one of the many yet-to-be-identified sabino patterns are involved. What we can say is that blue eyes are not caused by just one or two things. The situation is more complex than that. But then if pinto tests have told us anything, it is that it is all more complex than anyone originally thought!

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The blog has gotten a big influx of subscribers in the last week, so I wanted to send out a welcome to everyone who has joined the conversation. Because that is how I see this blog – as a conversation – please feel free to comment on the posts. I have been battling a nasty head-cold these last few weeks, so I am a little behind both on private replies and posts, but I am always interested in hearing what others have to say. Many times it is questions that are sent that serve as a jumping-point for later posts.

The upcoming week should be an exciting one, since the first of the Splash White test results should start coming in. I will be updating the Splash White Project page over the weekend, since there are more pending horses to post, and will post the results as they are known. I also have an assortment of dog color posts lined up as well, because that is a tangent I often explore here, and another group of posts on appaloosas. Hopefully I won’t whiplash everyone too badly if the topics switch around a lot!

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