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Genetic Diversity and Population Assignment of Arabian Horses

Genetic Diversity and Population Assignment of Arabian Horses

Mary A. Sargious1, Hanaa A. Ahmed1, Ragab M. El-Shawarby2, Hatem H. Bakery2, Sherif I. Ramadan3, E. Gus Cothran4 and Ayman Samir Farid5*

1Genome Research Unit, Animal Health Research Institute- ARC- 12618, Egypt.
2Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Benha University, Moshtohor 13736, Egypt. 
3Department of Animal Wealth Development, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Benha University, Moshtohor 13736, Egypt. 
4Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas AandM University, College Station, Texas, 77843, USA. 
5Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Benha University, Moshtohor, Toukh 13736, Qalyubia, Egypt.
 
* Corresponding author: ayman.samir@fvtm.bu.edu.eg

ABSTRACT

A total of 229 Arabian horse hair samples including 120 samples from El-Zahraa stud and 89 from two private farms in addition to 20 hair samples of Dutch Warmblood were genotyped by 16 microsatellite markers. The purposes of this study were; firstly, to investigate the current status of the genetic diversity and inbreeding of Arabian horse populations reared in Egypt. Secondly, to examine the traditional maternal based strain classification system “Al Khamsa” using samples of native Arabian horses reared in the El-Zahraa stud based on 16 microsatellite markers. El-Zahraa stud showed high inbreeding (FIS = 0.110) and should be corrected by modifying mating system through avoiding excessive use of certain sires in breeding program. Across the five basic strains of the Arabian horse, nine loci showed 13 private alleles with the Seglawi recorded six and the Abeyan recorded no private alleles. The highest Nei genetic distance and pairwise FST values were recorded between Abeyan and Hamdani while the lowest were recorded between Kehilan and Seglawi. The cluster pattern of the individual phylogenetic tree and STRUCTURE plots of the five basic horse strains indicate that there was no sharp demarcation between those five strains, and the influence of the dame line and the traditional maternal lines classification of the El-Zahraa Arabian horses was unclear. The results of this study confirm the applicability and efficiency of these 16 STR markers for assessing genetic diversity but not in examining the traditional maternal based strain classification system using native Arabian horses from Egypt.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

June

Vol. 54, Iss. 3, Pages 1001-1500

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