Horse genome ‘sequenced’

Tapitsfly, left, ridden by Robby Albarado, noses out a win over Rose Catherine, right, ridden by Javier Castellano during the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf horse race at Santa Anita Park on Friday in Arcadia, Calif. Photo: AP.  

Scientists have mapped the complete genetic sequence of the horse, providing resources for identifying markers for horse related genetic diseases and understanding horse biology.

“Better tests for genetic diseases such as disorders of the muscle, therapies for respiratory disease and allergic diseases of the horse are already being made possible through our increased understanding of equine biology.

“Horses have their own special population history with important implications for how we map genetic traits in horses.

“Horses do not appear to have undergone a tight domestication bottleneck and the presence of many female ancestors in domestic horse history are evidence of this. It looks as though we domesticated all of the ancestral horses,” lead scientist Prof Claire Wade of Sydney University said.

One unexpected finding by the international team was that the wild mongolian horse (Przewalski’s horse) which was once thought to be the ancestor of modern horses looks very much just like another horse breed even though it has a different number of chromosomes.

Importantly, the genome sheds light on the poorly understood biology of centromere formation. Horses have a newly formed centromere that has not had time to accumulate the normal characteristics of mammalian centromeres.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 7:44:16 AM |

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