Genetic Traits and Colour Codes


Source: Holstein Canada

Genetic Traits and Colour Codes

Gene Name Description Gene and Expression Code
BY Brachyspina
(causes abortion & stillborn, shortened spinal cord, long legs & abnormal organs)
BYC = tested carrier of Brachyspina
BYF = tested non-carrier of Brachyspina
CVM Complex Vertebral Malformation
(causes still-born calves, abortions, and early embryonic losses)
CVC = tested carrier of CVM
CVF = tested non-carrier of CVM
BLAD Bovine Leucocyte Adhesion Deficiency
(deficiency of a normally occurring protein needed for white blood cells or leukocytes, which are body’s infection fighters)
BLC = tested carrier of BLAD
BLF = tested non-carrier of BLAD
(toes of foot are joined, giving animal a single hoof, instead of cloven ones)
MFC = tested carrier of MULEFOOT
MFF = tested non-carrier of MULEFOOT
DUMPS Deficiency of Uridine Monophosphate Synthase
(one of many enzymes contributing to normal metabolic processes)
DPC = tested carrier of DUMPS
DPF = tested non-carrier of DUMPS
(a genetic disposition for increased calf losses with Holstein cattle)
CDF =Tested Free of Cholesterol Deficiency
CDC = Tested Carrier of Cholesterol Deficiency
CDS = Tested True Cholesterol Deficiency
BETA CASEIN A2 Beta Casein
(A1 and A2 beta-casein are genetic variants of the beta-casein milk protein that differ by one amino acid)
A2A2 = Beta Casein A2A2
A1A1 = Beta Casein A1A1
A1A2 = Beta Casein A1A2
Blood clotting disorder
XIC = tested carrier of FACTOR XI
XIF = tested non-carrier of FACTOR XI
CIT Citrullinemia
Accumulation of ammonia and other toxics in blood in baby calves
CNC = tested carrier of CIT
CNF = tested non-carrier of CIT


Gene Name Description Gene and Expression Code
POLLED Animals without horns
(Reported born hornless – Not Tested)
POR = code
(Current-Indirect test)
Indirect Test
POS = true polled (homozygous PP)
POC = carrier of polled (heterozygous Pp)
POF = free of polled

Birth Codes (Secondary)

Code Description
MB Multiple Birth
ET Embryo Transfer (regular)
ETA Embryo Transfer Adult Clone
ETM Embryo Transfer Manipulation (Clone, Divided, Nuclear Transfer, Split)

Coat/Hair Colour Codes

Code Description
AB All Black
AR All Red
AW All White
B/R Black/red (primarily B&W although exhibits reddish peculiar hair patterns– muzzles, ears, dorsal stripe, etc.)
B&W Black and White
IC Irregular or other colour (non-typical animals)
R&W Red and White
LB Lineback (animal having a distinct white stripe along the spine)

Coat/Hair Colour Codes

Gene Name Description Gene and Expression Code
Homozygous Black (ED / ED) B&W – black & white RDF – Tested non-carrier of red gene
Red Carrier (ED / e) B&W – black & white RDC – Carrier of red gene
Homozygous Red (e / e) R&W – red & white
Heterozygous Wildtype (e / E+)1 B/R – black/red colour pattern
R&W – red & white
RDC – Carrier of red gene
Heterozygous Black/Wildtype (ED / E+)1 B&W – black & white
B&W – black & white
BRC – Carrier of black/red gene
RDC – Carrier of red gene
Homozygous Wildtype (E+ / E+)1 R&W – red & white
B/R – black/red colour pattern
B&W – black & white
RDC – Carrier of red gene
RDC – Carrier of red gene
BRC – Carrier of black/red gene
Variant Red R&W – red & white VRR – Not tested / determined by lineage2
BKC – Carrier of black gene2

GT Codes

Code Description
GTM Genotype on file from DNA Micro-satellite Test
GTS Genotype on file from SNP Genomic Test
GT Indicates on the animal info sheet (AIS) that the animal has been genotyped.
*If both tests have been done, the code GTSM will be displayed

All results are made public, published on official documents and the Animal Inquiry page of the Holstein Canada website.



  • 1    E+ can be black, black/red or red based on pedigree.
  • 2    Confirmation test not available (at this time).