Module: Equine Genetics

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Andrew Hemmings
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    30 hours

Module content

An appraisal of emerging genetic science as applied to the horse. The link between gene and protein is explored through detailed consideration of mutations and subsequent diseased phenotype. Newly characterised diseases such as Fell Pony Syndrome and Lavender Foal Syndrome will provide the focus in this respect. In depth review of modern breeding strategies such as GM and cloning. Evolutionary perspectives, developments in performance genetics and the inheritance of behaviour.

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:

  1. Function as independent scientists during the design, optimisation and experimental utilisation of laboratory protocols.
  2. Critically evaluate the potential of traditional and recent scientific approaches to genetic improvement strategies.
  3. Review and analyse the extent to which mutations affect the phenotype, or, remain silent.
  4. Discuss the extent to which ‘molecular’ techniques can enhance our knowledge of breed evolution.


Assessment Description Weighting
Examination Unseen exam (3 hours) 100%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:

  • Bowling, A.T. (2000). Genetics of the Horse. CAB. Wallingford.
  • Harrison, S. (2006). Mitochondrial DNA Markers of Thoroughbred Performance. Mitochondirion. Vol. 26,116-121.
  • Hemmings, A.J. (2013) From dawn horse to racehorse. Equine Health. Vol. 3 40-41
  • Hemmings, A.J. (2012) A glimpse into the future of genetic screening. Equine Health. Vol. 2 20-21
  • Leeb, T. (2006). Genetic Markers of Stallion Infertility. Animal Genetics. Vol. 40, 336-341.