Can you DNA a horse for breed?

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By Rachel

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If you’re a horse owner, you know how important it is to have accurate information about your horse’s parentage. That’s where PCR DNA technology comes in! By analyzing specific DNA markers, this technique can definitively establish parentage and even identify genetic defects. It’s a great way to ensure the accuracy of pedigrees, prevent inbreeding, and give owners peace of mind. So why wait? Get your horse tested today!

Parentage for Horses: The Science Behind PCR DNA Technology

As a horse enthusiast, you may have wondered about the lineage of your equine companion. Whether you’re a breeder, owner, or simply curious, DNA testing can provide definitive answers about a horse’s parentage. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind PCR DNA technology and how it’s used to establish parentage in horses.

What is PCR DNA Technology?

PCR (polymerase chain reaction) DNA technology is a technique used to amplify and analyze DNA samples. It involves the use of special enzymes and primers to create multiple copies of a specific DNA sequence. This allows for more accurate analysis and testing of DNA samples.

How is PCR DNA Technology Used for Parentage Testing?

For parentage testing in horses, the DDC (DNA Diagnostic Center) team uses an optimized 22-DNA marker panel plus a gender marker. This panel includes specific DNA markers that are highly variable between horses, making them ideal for parentage testing. The gender marker is used to confirm the sex of the horse being tested.

A typical test includes samples from both the dam (mother) and sire (father) of the horse being tested. The samples can be obtained from various sources, including blood, hair, or tissue samples. Once the samples are obtained, they are sent to a laboratory for analysis.

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The laboratory uses PCR DNA technology to amplify and analyze the DNA samples. The markers in the panel are compared between the samples to determine if they match. If they do, it confirms that the tested horse is indeed the offspring of the two parents.

Why is Parentage Testing Important?

Parentage testing is important for several reasons. For breeders, it can help ensure the accuracy of pedigrees and prevent inbreeding. It can also help identify any potential genetic defects or diseases that may be present in a horse’s lineage.

For owners, parentage testing can provide peace of mind and help with legal issues such as ownership disputes. It can also be useful for performance records and breeding programs.


PCR DNA technology has revolutionized the field of parentage testing in horses. With its ability to accurately analyze DNA samples, it provides definitive answers about a horse’s lineage. Whether you’re a breeder, owner, or simply curious, parentage testing can provide valuable information about your equine companion. So why not take advantage of this amazing technology and unlock the secrets of your horse’s ancestry?

References for “Can you DNA a horse for breed?”

  1. “Understanding DNA Testing for Horses” by Erica Larson
  2. Equinome – a company specializing in equine genomics and DNA testing
  3. UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory – offers a variety of equine DNA tests for breed identification and genetic diseases
  4. “Equine Genetics 101: What Breeders Need to Know” by Karen Briggs
  5. “Genomic analysis reveals selection for Asian genes in European horses” by Lira et al.

A video on this subject that might interest you:

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