Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How the quarter horse won the rodeo

Date:
February 17, 2012
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
American Quarter Horses are renowned for their speed, agility, and calm disposition. Consequently over four million Quarter Horses are used as working horses on ranches, as show horses or at rodeos. New research used 'next-generation' sequencing to map variation in the genome of a Quarter Horse mare. Analysis of genetic variants associated with specific traits showed that compared to a thoroughbred the Quarter Horse's genome was enriched for variants in genes involved in sensory perception, signal transduction and the immune system.

This is an American Quarter Horse mare -- the first to have its genome sequenced using "next generation" sequencing.
Credit: Dr. Scott Dindot, Texas A&M University

American Quarter Horses are renowned for their speed, agility, and calm disposition. Consequently over four million Quarter Horses are used as working horses on ranches, as show horses or at rodeos. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Genomics used 'next-generation' sequencing to map variation in the genome of a Quarter Horse mare. Analysis of genetic variants associated with specific traits showed that compared to a Thoroughbred the Quarter Horse's genome was enriched for variants in genes involved in sensory perception, signal transduction and the immune system.

Quarter Horses have been selectively bred to improve speed over short distances. However they also prone to some disorders such as hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia (HERDA) where their skin is fragile and tears easily.

Researchers from Texas A&M University sequenced a Quarter Horse genome with the aim of finding what makes these horses so special. They looked at genetic variants, including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), copy number variants (CNV), insertions and deletions (INDELs), as well as mutations associated with performance traits and diseases which are responsible for the makeup of these horses. By comparing the Quarter Horse's sequence with that of a Thoroughbred, over three million of these variations were found. With the help of a human gene identification library, pathways, traits and diseases associated with the variations and mutations found in the horse were identified.

Dr Scott Dindot from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary medicine explained, "When we compared the genomic sequence of our mare to that of a Thoroughbred genome, we found that the Quarter horse had more genetic variation -- especially in genes involved in sensory perception, immunity, and cellular processes. When we looked for disease causing mutations and variants associated with performance traits we discovered that the Quarter Horse was heterozygous for a mutation in the cyclophilin B gene which is responsible for HERDA, and a SNP associated with chestnut coat color. The horse also had SNPs associated with racing endurance, originating in Thoroughbreds, which may explain the Quarter Horse's speed and stamina."

The sequencing of horse genome has been of great benefit to equine breeders and veterinary medicine because of the possibilities of improving health and performance. This information can also be used to understand the theory underlying horse evolution. Recently mitochondrial sequencing of domestic horses and a Przewalski horse was able to show that most of the genetic variation between modern breeds was already present in ancestral stock. This new research, the first to use next-generation sequencing, has provided information which will be a useful resource in understanding the genetic basis behind horse breeds and disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ryan Doan, Noah D Cohen, Jason Sawyer, Noushin Ghaffari, Charlie D Johnson, Scott V Dindot. Whole-Genome Sequencing and Genetic Variant Analysis of a Quarter Horse Mare. BMC Genomics, 2012; 13 (1): 78 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-78

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "How the quarter horse won the rodeo." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217101703.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2012, February 17). How the quarter horse won the rodeo. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217101703.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "How the quarter horse won the rodeo." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120217101703.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins