The University of Kentucky’s (UK) Genetic Testing at Gluck laboratory recently ended its equine blood-type testing. The laboratory continues to offer DNA testing.

Kathryn Graves, PhD, Genetic Testing at Gluck director, said the lab elected to cease blood-type testing for a number of reasons, including the age of the necessary equipment and the technical time required to perform testing. The lab had offered the test since its inception in 1986; however DNA verification replaced blood typing for equine parentage verification in 2001. Genetic Testing at Gluck continued to offer blood typing to facilitate registration of horses whose parents were deceased and did not have DNA profiles on record and was the last laboratory to offer full blood typing services.

In addition, the lab will no longer offer neonatal isoerythrolysys antibody testing, which is available from several other veterinary laboratories in the Lexington area.

“Over the years we had to decrease the number of systems we tested for as equipment has failed,” Graves said. “Difficulty in finding parts for the computer running the DOS program used to record red cell readings was another factor.”

Graves said DNA testing is still available to generate DNA types and perform parentage testing. The laboratory uses a panel of 17 microsatellite markers for standard testing. In addition to DNA testing, the laboratory also offers testing for:

Disease mutations:

  • Dwarfism in Friesians and Miniature Horses;
  • Equine arteritis virus, to determine CXCL16 haplotype;
  • Foal immunodeficiency syndrome;
  • Hydrocephaly in Friesians;
  • Junctional epidermolysis bullosa in American Saddlebreds;
  • Overo lethal white syndrome;
  • Myotonia; and
  • Warmblood fragile foal syndrome.


  • Agouti gene;
  • Champagne;
  • Cream (dilution) gene;
  • E locus (red gene);
  • Gray;
  • Sabino;
  • Silver dapple (Z); and

Learn more about DNA testing and the other tests offered at

Jenny Evans, MFA, PhD candidate, is the senior veterinary science marketing/promotion specialist at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center.

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More information on Gluck Equine Research Center and UK Ag Equine Programs.