Additional Equine Genomes Sequenced

The genome of six horse breeds has been sequenced and researchers have identified genetic variations that likely cause some of the differences in conformation and body size seen between breeds. There are about 400 different breeds of horse in the world.

The first complete genome sequence on a domesticated horse was done on a Thoroughbred mare named Twilight. Now, in addition to the Thoroughbred, an Arabian, a Mangalarga Marchador, a Miniature Horse, a Native Mongolian Chakouyi, a Percheron and a Tennessee Walking Horse have had their genomes sequenced.

Twilight’s genome, completed in 2009, was known as EquCab 2.0; the newest version, using the same mare, is called EquCab3.0. Drs. Mohammed Ali Al Abri, Heather Marie Holl, Sara Kalla, Nathan Sutter and Samantha Brooks then compared the genomes of the six new breeds against EquCab3.0.

The researchers were able to identify and describe 17,514,723 different genetic variations; they found 1,923,693 insertions/deletions, which can cause genetic disorders. They also found more insertions than deletions, which is opposite of what is seen in humans. Insertions and deletions are more likely to be unique to the breed of horse, they report.

The scientist’s findings were placed in a database that can be used for future studies.

Read the study here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

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