Mapping genes that control hair growth in horses

This project takes advantage of the large variety in mane length in horses, to characterise factors that affect hair growth. The goal is to identify mutations for hair growth that might regulate the length of the hair cycle, i.e. the time from when a hair starts to grow until it falls off and a new hair begins to grow.

So far, there is a limited knowledge about which factors control and regulate hair growth. Horses provide an innovative model for mapping hair growth mutations as they display an extraordinary variation in this trait, as well as have a favourable population structure for gene mapping experiments.

In this project the student will analyse hair samples from horses to measure melanin content, thickness and shape of the hair strands. The hair samples are from mane and tail of Icelandic horses, a breed with a great variation in length, thickness and colour. One of the candidate genes identified in other horse breeds will be sequenced and the presence of potential mutations in horses with different mane lengths will be investigated.

More information about mane growth

If you are interested in this project, please contact:
Gabriella Lindgren
Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, SLU

Last modified: 2021-09-09