5 years ago

Whole-loop mitochondrial DNA D-loop sequence variability in Egyptian Arabian equine matrilines

William Hudson

by William Hudson


Egyptian Arabian horses have been maintained in a state of genetic isolation for over a hundred years. There is only limited genetic proof that the studbook records of female lines of Egyptian Arabian pedigrees are reliable. This study characterized the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) signatures of 126 horses representing 14 matrilines in the Egyptian Agricultural Organization (EAO) horse-breeding program.


Analysis of the whole D-loop sequence yielded additional information compared to hypervariable region-1 (HVR1) analysis alone, with 42 polymorphic sites representing ten haplotypes compared to 16 polymorphic sites representing nine haplotypes, respectively. Most EAO haplotypes belonged to ancient haplogroups, suggesting origin from a wide geographical area over many thousands of years, although one haplotype was novel.


Historical families share haplotypes and some individuals from different strains belonged to the same haplogroup: the classical EAO strain designation is not equivalent to modern monophyletic matrilineal groups. Phylogenetic inference showed that the foundation mares of the historical haplotypes were highly likely to have the same haplotypes as the animals studied (p > 0.998 in all cases), confirming the reliability of EAO studbook records and providing the opportunity for breeders to confirm the ancestry of their horses.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184309

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