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Genome-wide search for markers associated with osteochondrosis in Hanoverian warmblood horses


A genome-wide scan was performed to detect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for osteochondrosis (OC) and osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) in horses. The marker set comprised 260 microsatellites. We collected data from 211 Hanoverian warmblood horses consisting of 14 paternal half-sib families. Traits used were OC (fetlock and/or hock joints affected), OCD (fetlock and/or hock joints affected), fetlock OC, fetlock OCD, hock OC, and hock OCD. The first genome scan included 172 microsatellite markers. In a second step 88 additional markers were chosen to refine putative QTLs found in the first scan. Genome-wide significant QTLs were located on equine chromosomes 2, 4, 5, and 16. QTLs for fetlock OC and hock OC partly overlapped on the same chromosomes, indicating that these traits may be genetically related. QTLs reached the chromosome-wide significance level on eight different equine chromosomes: 2, 3, 4, 5, 15, 16, 19, and 21. This whole-genome scan was a first step toward the identification of candidate genome regions harboring genes responsible for equine OC. Further investigations are necessary to refine the map positions of the QTLs already identified for OC.

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This study was supported by grants from the German Research Council, DFG, Bonn (DI 333/12-1). The authors thank Prof. Dr. E. Bruns, Dr. L. Christmann, Prof. Dr. M. Coenen, and Prof. Dr. B. Hertsch for their commitment to the project. They are grateful to all other sponsors of this project. They also thank H. Klippert-Hasberg and S. Neander for their technical support during the work in the laboratory.

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Correspondence to Ottmar Distl.

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Dierks, C., Löhring, K., Lampe, V. et al. Genome-wide search for markers associated with osteochondrosis in Hanoverian warmblood horses. Mamm Genome 18, 739–747 (2007).

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  • Polymorphism Information Content
  • Osteochondrosis
  • Osteochondral Fragment
  • Average Marker Distance
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans