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Etalon's SNP Parentage Testing Panel

The Etalon SNP Parentage testing panel, released in 2017, uses 101 carefully selected genetic markers to test for parentage between horses. This is almost 70 markers more than the short tandem release (STR) tests used to identify parentage traditionally. The use of STR markers can also be requested and included on a case-by-case basis.






Test Methodology

The SNP Parentage analysis relies upon the principles of inheritance and ISAG recommendations to determine whether two horses are related. At every site in the genome (known as SNPs), each foal inherits two copies - one from their sire and one from their dam. This inheritance follows certain rules and patterns. The Etalon SNP Parentage test assesses 101 sites (SNPs) to determine parentage. These sites were carefully chosen for their informativeness of determining parentage across multiple breeds. If all of the tested sites follow the known inheritance rules, we determine that it is extremely likely that the two horses are related. If many of the sites do not follow the inheritance rules, then it is very unlikely that the two horses are related. No test, however, is 100% accurate. Due to random error, if only one site out of the total tested does not follow the inheritance rules, we still assume that the horses are related. If 2 or 3 sites do not follow these rules, then the test is inconclusive. Inconclusive tests are more likely to happen with horses that are closely related but not necessarily parent-offspring.

Test Accuracy and Sensitivity

The Etalon SNP Parentage test has been extensively tested and validated, including in peer reviewed publications (Holl et. al. 2017) in the journal Animal Genetics. The Etalon test accuracy is comparable with the accuracy obtained using microsatellite testing panels. The Etalon SNP Parentage test had an accuracy of 99.9% in the studied set of horses in Holl et. al. The Etalon SNP Parentage test had a positive predictive value of 94%, meaning that if the test determines that two horses are related, 19 out of 20 times it is correct. The majority of incorrect test results occurred in horses that were otherwise closely related. The test has a false positive rate of 0.02% for unrelated horses and a false positive rate of 3.03% for horses that are related but are not parent offspring pairs. The test had a false negative rate of 8%, which means that fewer than 1 in 12 parent-offspring pairs are misclassified by the test. Out of the 23 parent-offspring horses misclassified in Hall et. al., 22 of 23 were classified as inconclusive, while only 1 out of the 23 was classified as unrelated. The Etalon SNP Parentage test has been extensively tested and is highly accurate - if you have any questions regarding your results please contact us.


Q: Will the tests be able to determine my horse's potential sire and dam?

A: We can run parentage markers from your horse with all of the horses in our database or your registry of choice. If you have a sample set from a herd with parents, we can map foals to parents easily. However, if their sire or dam's DNA is not within our database or registry along with no relatives, it is impossible to track down without first sending in samples.

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