Coat Colour Tests

Red factor
The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene (also extension locus) controls the production of black and red coat pigment in cattle. Cattle carrying the dominant black allele are jet black base colored; Wild-type cattle show a reddish-brown to brownish-black base color and cattle with two copies of the recessive red allele have a red coat color.

Please note: The red factor test offered by GeneControl laboratory detects the MC1R mutations g.14757924delG and g.14757910T> C (UMD3.1) with differentiation of the alleles ED, E + and e. It does not provide any information about the presence of further possible alleles in individual cattle breeds, which can also cause red coat color.

Dun (Dexter cattle)
Dun coat color in Dexter cattle is caused by the dilution of black pigment in the hair resulting in shades of dark brown to gold. This specific color dilution is caused by an autosomal recessive mutation in the TYRP1 gene.
Dun mutation does not show any effect on red pigmented hair, so dependent on the status of the MC1R genotype an animal homozygous for dun dilution will be dun or red.

For possible interactions of MC1R and TYRP1 genotypes and their phenotypic effects, please see details given in the table below.

Phenotype Genetic status – MC1R Genetic status – TYRP1
Black ED/ED B/B
ED/E+ B/b
ED/e B/B
ED/e B/b
Red E+/E+ B/B
E+/E+ B/b
E+/E+ b/b
E+/e B/B
E+/e B/b
E+/e b/b
e/e B/B
e/e B/b
e/e b/b
Dun ED/ED b/b
ED/E+ b/b
ED/e b/b
Sampling instructions
Bovine sample submission form