Science & Equine

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Written by Anouk van Breukelen
Posted in Breeding

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The genetics behind dwarfism in Miniature horses

Miniature horses are selected on their small size. It is known that size in horses is affected by many genes. Unfortunately the small size can also occur because of genetic variants that cause dwarfism.

Sequencing led to the discovery of four exons possibly associated with dwarfism, where homozygotes and compound heterozygotes always expressed the dwarfism phenotype. However, eight additional horses with dwarfism were found suggesting the existence of additional ACAN alleles causing dwarfism. Among the miniature horses the carrier rate was 26.2% for alleles causing chondrodysplastic dwarfism.

Expert opinion by Anouk van Breukelen

The data of this study provides a foundation for future research of dwarfism in miniature horses as well as other horse breeds.  

> From: Eberth et al., Animal Genetics 49 (2018) 413-420. All rights reserved to Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics. Click here for the online summary.

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