Somatic Mutation

A Somatic Mutation is an effect that happens in the womb switching off the expression of a gene in an area on a horse. Somatic Mutations are very rare, however, thanks to the internet and the interest in seeing rare and unique horses it is getting easier and easier to find examples of rare coloured horses.

Somatic Mutation Genetics

A Somatic Mutation is caused in the womb such as temperature and position of the foal. There are no DNA factors causing the somatic mutation in the horse. It will be impossible to recreate the unique horse with a Somatic Mutation by breeding due to the coat not being caused by DNA.

Mosaic Chimera Versus Somatic Mutations

The most difficult part with coming across a unique horse is knowing if it is indeed a Somatic Mutation or if it is Chimera. Mosaic Chimera and Somatic Mutations can have very a similar phenotype. Therefore it can be impossible to tell if a horse is Mosaic Chimera or has Somatic Mutation without DNA testing for multiple sets of DNA.

To see pictures of horses that may be Mosaic Chimeras or Somatic Mutations check out this album: