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Brindle is a pattern of intermingled colors which are more marbled or streaked than roan. Also the two colors are black and red or yellow in brindle instead of black or red and white, as in roan. The genetic basis of this interesting pattern is not yet understood. Highland cattle, Texas Longhorn cattle, and Jersey cattle can be brindle, as are some South American breeds such as pictured above in the hide from Argentina. Highland cattle are not necessarily born brindle but can change to this pattern by 2 to 3 years of age. Berge (1949) studied this pattern in Norwegian breeds and concluded the interaction of 2 genes is needed. It appears that cattle must have an E + allele at the MC1R gene. Cattle with an "e/e" genotype can carry brindle but not show this phenotype.

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