She noticed that both the dam and sire were brindle, which is an extremely rare colour. In fact, out of the 4.7 million American Quarter horses registered with the AQHA the registration department only has 15 horses with some form of a brindle coat pattern.
Back to the laboratory, where they were still getting strange results when they tested the stallion. When they tested his hair samples they came up with two different DNA types. They then tested his blood and found that his sex-linked markers were more typical of a female not a male. He had no Y chromosome.
When they went back and tested his hair samples again they found two DNA types – one was for a male and one was for a female.
Dr Penedo now believes that Dunbars Gold is a chimera.
Scientists believe that a chimera is formed when two non-identical twin embryos (fertilised eggs), join together to form one embryo. This must happen very early in the development process. The embryo then develops into a normal individual that has two different DNA types. Although this is very rare it has been seen in cats and humans.
It gets even more interesting!…
Dunbars Gold’s reproductive male organs were formed by his male DNA while his skin and hair have both his male DNA and female DNA lines.
The genetisists then looked at the dam’s DNA (she is also a rare all over brindle) and found that she also had two DNA lines, however hers were both female. They then compared the 2004 foal’s DNA with the DNA from his sister who was foaled in 2003. Guess what! Yes, they each had a different DNA line. So Sharp One is producing eggs from two different DNA lines.
Note: Chimera was a mythical creature that was made up of different animals part. Today the term is used to mean a fantasy creature or something that is hard to believe.