skip to Main Content
+49 7071 565 44 850 Facebook

Locus Informationen: CR Locus

Inheritance: incomplete autosomal-dominant

→ Incomplete means that only one copy of the variant (Cr/n) is necessary to see a dilution in the color, giving the Palomino, Buckskin, and Smoky Black coat colors (although smoky black may look the same as normal black). With two copies of the Cream variant (Cr/Cr), the dilution effect is complete, giving the Cremello, Perlino, and Smoky Cream coat colors. These three variants can look nearly identical, so it is often necessary to test the base color genetic variants (Agouti, Extension) to determine which base color the horse has. The pictures in the graphic below show extreme examples, but most “double dilute” (Cr/Cr) horses do not appear so different in color.

General Information:

  • Cream reduces the amount of pigment produced in the skin cells and hair.
  • With one copy of the Cream variant, less light/red pigment (phaomelanin) is produced. With two copies of the Cream variant, both light/red and dark (eumelanin) pigments are reduced.
  • The Base color of the horse determines which dilute color they will be (see graphic below).

Possible Genotypes:

Base Color:
Black Bay
+ one copy of the Cream variant

Smoky Black


+ two copies of the Cream variant
Smoky Cream Perlino Cremello

→ Two copies of the Cream variant (Smoky cream, perlino, cremello) can be very difficult to tell apart. It is often necessary to do a genetic test to determine the base colors (black, bay, chestnut).

→ Smoky Black and Black may also be indistinguishable. Only genetic testing will then be able to determine whether a horse does have the Cream variant or not.


Test information: This test detects a mutation in the SLC45A2 (MATP) gene.

Mariat, D., Taourit, S., Guerin, G.: A mutation in the MATP gene causes the cream coat colour in the horse Genetics Selection Evolution 35:119-33, 2003. Doi: 10.1051/gse:2002039.

More information can be found on the OMIA website: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals.

From the Chestnut base color (for example, the horse in the back), one copy of Cream gives a Palomino coat color (horse in the front).

Test #: H202

Sample: Blood, Hair

Price: 35 € (net)

Time required: 10-14 days

Two copies of the cream mutation result in a similar color for all three base colors. Genetic testing may be required to determine the difference between the different base colors. Here, a Perlino is found on the left, and a Cremello is on the right, but the difference is often not so strong.


Back To Top