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      Genetic variability of Appaloosa horses: a study of a closed breeding population from Argentina

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          Abstract

          The genetic diversity and structure of 72 Appaloosa horses belonging to a closed breeding population from an ecological reserve in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was investigated using eight microsatellite markers from the International Society for Animal Genetics panel. Our data showed that this Appaloosa horse population had an elevated degree of genetic diversity (He= 0.746) and did not present a significant increase of homozygous individuals ( F IS~0). However, the short tandem repeats, AHT5, ASB2, HTG10 and VHL20, were not in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium ( P-value<0.05). Genetic relationships between this population and other well known horse breeds showed that Appaloosa horses from Argentina could have had their origin in the horses of the Nez Perce’s people in Idaho while other Appaloosa horses may have had influences from Andalusian and Lusitano breeds. This closed breeding population conserves an important degree of Appaloosa genetic diversity and notwithstanding its particular breeding characteristics, represents a valuable genetic resource for conservation.

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          DNA markers reveal the complexity of livestock domestication.

          A series of recent genetic studies has revealed the remarkably complex picture of domestication in both New World and Old World livestock. By comparing mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences of modern breeds with their potential wild and domestic ancestors, we have gained new insights into the timing and location of domestication events that produced the farm animals of today. The real surprise has been the high number of domestication events and the diverse locations in which they took place - factors which could radically change our approach to conserving livestock biodiversity resources in the future.
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            Genetic diversity in German draught horse breeds compared with a group of primitive, riding and wild horses by means of microsatellite DNA markers.

            We compared the genetic diversity and distance among six German draught horse breeds to wild (Przewalski's Horse), primitive (Icelandic Horse, Sorraia Horse, Exmoor Pony) or riding horse breeds (Hanoverian Warmblood, Arabian) by means of genotypic information from 30 microsatellite loci. The draught horse breeds included the South German Coldblood, Rhenish German Draught Horse, Mecklenburg Coldblood, Saxon Thuringa Coldblood, Black Forest Horse and Schleswig Draught Horse. Despite large differences in population sizes, the average observed heterozygosity (H(o)) differed little among the heavy horse breeds (0.64-0.71), but was considerably lower than in the Hanoverian Warmblood or Icelandic Horse population. The mean number of alleles (N(A)) decreased more markedly with declining population sizes of German draught horse breeds (5.2-6.3) but did not reach the values of Hanoverian Warmblood (N(A) = 6.7). The coefficient of differentiation among the heavy horse breeds showed 11.6% of the diversity between the heavy horse breeds, as opposed to 21.2% between the other horse populations. The differentiation test revealed highly significant genetic differences among all draught horse breeds except the Mecklenburg and Saxon Thuringa Coldbloods. The Schleswig Draught Horse was the most distinct draught horse breed. In conclusion, the study demonstrated a clear distinction among the German draught horse breeds and even among breeds with a very short history of divergence like Rhenish German Draught Horse and its East German subpopulations Mecklenburg and Saxon Thuringa Coldblood.
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              Population studies of 17 equine STR for forensic and phylogenetic analysis.

              As a consequence of the close integration of horses into human society, equine DNA analysis has become relevant for forensic purposes. However, the information content of the equine Short Tandem Repeat (STR) loci commonly used for the identification or paternity testing has so far not been fully characterized. Population studies were performed for 17 polymorphic STR loci (AHT4, AHT5, ASB2, ASB17, ASB23, CA425, HMS1, HMS2, HMS3, HMS6, HMS7, HTG4, HTG6, HTG7, HTG10, LEX3 and VHL20) including 8641 horses representing 35 populations. The power of parental exclusion, polymorphic information content, expected and observed heterozygosity and probability of identity were calculated, showing that the set of 17 STRs has sufficient discriminating power for forensic analysis in almost all breeds. We also explored the reliability of individual assignment tests in identifying the correct breeds of origin for unknown samples. The overall proportion of individuals correctly assigned to a population was 97.2%. Finally, we demonstrate the phylogenetic signal of the 17 STR. We found three clusters of related breeds: (i) the cold-blooded draught breeds Haflinger, Dutch draft and Friesian; (ii) the pony breeds Shetland and Miniature horse with the Falabella, Appaloosa and Icelandic; and (iii) The Warmblood riding breeds, together with the hot-blooded Standard-bred, Thoroughbred and Arabian. © 2011 Dr. Van Haeringen Laboratorium BV, Animal Genetics © 2011 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Front. Agr. Sci. Eng.
                FASE
                CN10-1204/S
                Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering
                Higher Education Press (4 Huixin Dongjie, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China )
                2095-7505
                2014
                : 1
                : 3
                : 175-178
                Affiliations
                1. Instituto de Genética Veterinaria “Ing. Fernando N Dulout”(IGEVET) –CCT La Plata –CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina
                2. Research Fellow from Consejo Nacional de Invetigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET), Argentina
                3. Research Fellow from Universidad Nacional de la Plata (UNLP), Argentina
                Author notes
                ccorbi@fcv.unlp.edu.ar
                Article
                10.15302/J-FASE-2014019

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Categories
                LETTER

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