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Phenotypic traits in animals are an extremely interesting but also complex part of genetic science. With out research projects CAG wants to make its own contribution to identify new mutations. Based on this knowledge, genetic tests for the respective traits can be established. Our major focus rests on unusual colors and White Spotting mutations in general.

To this point, 27 different variations associated with the White Spotting phenotype are known. Some are restricted to certain breeds, bloodline or even single individuals. W-variants show a highly variable phenotype similar to the Sabino-1 pattern. In combination with other patterns like Tobiano or Frame Overo, W-variants lead to an increased amount of white. It is still suspected  that other, yet unknown mutations in the KIT gene may cause a very similar phenotype.

Two copies of any W-variant are found very rarely which leads to the conclusion that this genotype causes an early abortion, except for the W20 variant or combinations with W20. There has been only one known example of a foal having two copies of the W15 variant.

Are you interested in “Coat Colors in Horses”? Visit our informational page and learn more (german language only).

For further information about different W-variants and White Spotting in general, please visit our White Spotting page.


Do you have horses with unusual coat colors? Does your horse have two copies of a W-variant or do you suspect it has? Please send us an e-Mail with photos and parentage details or contact us for any questions regarding this topic.

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