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Free Testing for Standardbreds and Haflingers

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Albuquerque, New Mexico

A collaborative research team assembled by researchers at EquiSeq will end its offer of free testing for Standardbreds and Haflingers on March 31, 2023.

The project is aimed at studying the K1 variant of COL6A3, which is present in high frequency in these breeds. The K1 variant affects the structure of collagen in muscle tissue. Collagen is part of the connective tissue that surrounds muscle fibers. Human patients with similar mutations have a myopathy called COL VI-related dystrophy.

The K1 variant affects the organization of connective tissue in a cell culture assay, as reported by Chief Scientific Officer Paul Szauter at the 20th Anniversary Symposium of the Genome Sciences Department at the University of Washington in November 2022. Kirsten Dimmler, formerly a Bioinformatics Analyst at EquiSeq and now a graduate student with Dr. Molly McCue at the University of Minnesota, reported additional findings at the Plant and Animal Genomes conference in January 2023.

The free testing program is open to all Standardbreds and Haflingers in the United States. Horse owners seeking testing will receive a consent form and hair sample pack by mail.

To participate, send an email to with the number of Standardbreds or Haflingers you have. Include your postal mailing address.

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