The prospect: a horse’s genes determine its potential; from Grand Prix jumper to reining champion, from the perfect child’s pony to the Kentucky Derby winner. In the study of equine genetics, we examine how each horse is a product of its genes. In this course we will examine how the genetics of a horse influence its potential to perform, render it susceptible to disease or unsoundness or curse it with a genetic disorder. This course will take you from simple Mendelian inheritance and medical genetics through the polygenic determination of coat colour and into the quantitative traits such as performance determined by the interaction of multiple genes and the environment. The course will also examine the significance of pedigrees, methods of parentage testing and how breeds are genetically distinct.
The goal of this course is to enable you to understand important concepts of equine genetics and how they relate to the selection and breeding of horses.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Explain the fundamentals of Mendelian genetics and how they apply to the expression of genetic disorders and determining coat colour
- Explain the concept of heritability for quantitative traits such as conformation and performance, how it is applied in a breeding program and what it means in terms of the relative contributions of genetics and the environment
- Describe DNA testing and parentage verification of horses
- Investigate and discuss the development of breeds and how selection, reproductive isolation, and bottlenecks contribute to the genetic identity of a breed
- Compare and contrast the genetic connections and distinctions between the various species that are all considered to be members of the genus “Equus”
- The Basis of Genetics: Mitosis & Meiosis; Genes (Introduction)
- Mendelian Genetics
- Single Gene Disorders of the Horse Part 1
- Single Gene Disorders of The Horse Part 2
- Coat Colour Genetics
- Coat Colour Pattern Genetics
- The Equine Karyotype
- Genetics of Performance Traits
- Pedigrees and Breeding Schemes
- DNA Testing & Parentage Verification
- Population Genetics & The Genetic Identity of Breeds
Sample CareersThis course is designed for those looking to increase their understanding of the horse, advance their careers in the equine industry and expand their knowledge and skills in the area of equine science.
This course is intended for adults at least 18 years of age. There are no prerequisites for this course. You may take this as an individual course or choose to complete one of our equine certificates or the diploma.*
You do not need access to a horse to participate and be successful in this course.
You can expect to spend 6-10 hours per week to compete the course material, discussions and assignments.
*If you are a certificate or diploma program student, we recommend that you complete Management of the Equine Environment first, or very early in your course of studies. This course is offered every semester.
Please note that the course assessment is subject to change.