• coat colour;
  • grey;
  • horse;
  • melanoma;
  • single nucleotide polymorphism


Grey horses are born coloured, turn progressively grey and often develop melanomas late in life. Grey shows an autosomal dominant inheritance and the locus has previously been mapped to horse chromosome 25 (ECA25), around the TXN gene. We have now developed eight new single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with genes on ECA25 using information on the linear order of genes on human chromosome 9q, as well as the human and mouse coding sequences. These SNPs were mapped in relation to the Grey locus using more than 300 progeny from matings between two Swedish Warmblood grey stallions and non-grey mares. Grey was firmly assigned to an interval with flanking markers NANS and ABCA1. This corresponds to a region of approximately 6.9 Mb on human chromosome 9q. Furthermore, no recombination was observed between Grey, TGFBR1 and TMEFF1, the last two being 1.4 Mb apart in human. There are no obvious candidate genes in this region and none of the genes has been associated with pigmentation disorders or melanoma development, suggesting that the grey phenotype is caused by a mutation in a novel gene.