Abnormalities of sexual development causing infertility in horses have been investigated since the early 1970's. Conventional cytogenetic analysis by karyotyping has been the primary tool used to investigate these horses. Abnormalities have a broad range, from a phenotypically normal mare with gonadal dysgenesis to a horse with ambiguous external genitalia and internal male and female organs. Cytogenetic analysis can determine genetic sex but cannot identify mutations or deletions of genes involved in the sex determination pathway. Molecular technologies have been developed to confirm cytogenetic results and to aid in identifying the genetic causes of abnormal sex determination in horses. In this paper, we review the historical development of methods used to understand abnormal sexual development in the horse as well as summarize cases reported over the last 40-50 years.

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