Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Horse gaits controlled by genetic mutation spread by humans

Date:
February 4, 2014
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
From the Faroe Pony to the Spanish Mustang, fewer animals have played such a central role in human history as the horse. New research reveals that a horse's gait, an attribute central to its importance to humans, is influenced by a genetic mutation, spread by humans across the world.

Map showing the global distribution of the DMRT3 'gait keeper' mutation.
Credit: Animal Genetics

From the Faroe Pony to the Spanish Mustang, fewer animals have played such a central role in human history as the horse. New research in Animal Genetics reveals that a horse's gait, an attribute central to its importance to humans, is influenced by a genetic mutation, spread by humans across the world.

Related Articles


The team, led by Dr. Leif Andersson from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, explored the distribution of a mutation in the DMRT3 gene which affects the gait of horses, known as the 'gait keeper.'

"All over the world, horses have been used for everyday transportation, in military settings, cattle herding and agricultural power, pulling carriages and carts, pleasure riding or racing," said Dr. Andersson. "Over the centuries, horse populations and breeds have been shaped by humans based on the different purposes for which the animals were used."

The DMRT3 gene is central to the utility of horses to humans, as it controls a range of gaits as well as pace. From racing to pleasure riding, many species have been bred to encourage smoothness of gait.

"For example, the Paso Fino is a breed from Latin America in which the frequency of the 'gait keeper' mutation is nearly 100%. It is claimed that the Paso Fino gait is so smooth that you can have a glass of wine in your hand without letting it spill," said Dr. Andersson.

The team analyzed 4,396 horses from 141 breeds around the world and found that the 'gait keeper' mutation is spread across Eurasia from Japan in the East, to the British Isles in West, on Iceland, in both South and North America, and also in breeds from South Africa.

"Humans have spread this mutation across the world primarily because horses carrying this mutation are able to provide a very smooth ride, in some breeds referred to as a running walk," said Dr. Andersson. "During such ambling gaits the horse has at least one foot on the ground that means that the vertical movement of the rider is minimal."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Promerovα, L. S. Andersson, R. Juras, M. C. T. Penedo, M. Reissmann, T. Tozaki, R. Bellone, S. Dunner, P. Hořνn, F. Imsland, P. Imsland, S. Mikko, D. Modrύ, K. H. Roed, D. Schwochow, J. L. Vega-Pla, H. Mehrabani-Yeganeh, N. Yousefi-Mashouf, E. G. Cothran, G. Lindgren, L. Andersson. Worldwide frequency distribution of the ‘Gait keeper’ mutation in theDMRT3gene. Animal Genetics, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/age.12120

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Horse gaits controlled by genetic mutation spread by humans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073936.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, February 4). Horse gaits controlled by genetic mutation spread by humans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073936.htm
Wiley. "Horse gaits controlled by genetic mutation spread by humans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140204073936.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) — From sweet cherries to sugar snap peas, spring is the peak season for some of the tastiest and healthiest produce. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best seasonal fruits and veggies to spring in to good health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) — If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) — Satellite data shows the Amazon rainforest supports its lush flora with a little help from Sahara Desert dust. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) — Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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