It Must Be The Genes: Australian Thoroughbreds Have Specific Signature For Early Success

Irish researchers say that Australian Thoroughbreds have their own genetic signature that relates to locomotion, skeletal muscle physiology, cardiac function and behavior. Breeders, by selecting for these specific traits, have made choices that contribute to early 2-year-old speed.

Drs. Haige Han, Beatrice McGivney, Gabriella Farries, Lisa Katz, David MacHugh, Imtiaz Randhawa and Emmeline Hill used blood samples to analyze the genetics of 99 Thoroughbreds; 49 of the horses were Australian, and the other 50 were from North America, South Africa and Europe.

The research team was able to identify specific chromosomal regions that have been selected by breeders for generations to maximize success on Australian tracks. In Australian horses, these regions had different patterns than the same regions in Thoroughbreds from outside Australia.

Though there are more than 20,000 genes in the horse genome, the researchers claim to have identified the set of genes that are most suited to horses racing in Australia. One of the genes studied mediated the action of cortisol on the body. It is thought that this gene may allow a young horse to better adapt to the stress of training. Additionally, researchers found a link between the genes of the Australian horses and faster training speeds during the horse’s 2-year-old year.

The scientists conclude that the ability to identify the genetics most suited to Australian racing could be used to help determine the breeding and selection of racehorses. They also note that their results indicate that it may be possible to selectively breed for success in specific geographic regions around the world.

Read the study here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

The post It Must Be The Genes: Australian Thoroughbreds Have Specific Signature For Early Success appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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