Diversity of mitochondrial DNA in three Arabian horse strains
Arabian horse registries classify Arabian horses based on their dam lineages into five main strains. To test the maternal origin of Syrian Arabian horses, 192 horses representing the three major strains Saglawi, Kahlawi, and Hamdani were sequenced for 353 bp of their mitochondrial displacement loop (D-loop) region. Sequencing revealed 28 haplotypes comprising 38 sequence variations. The haplotype diversity values were 0.95, 0.91, and 0.90 in Kahlawi, Hamdani, and Saglawi strains, respectively. The pair-wise population differentiation estimates (Fst) between strains were low, ranging between 0.098 and 0.205. The haplotype diversity and the pair-wise population differentiation estimates (Fst) between strains showed high diversity within individuals of each strain and low variation between the three strains. Mitochondrial haplotypes scattered all over the neighbor-joining tree without clear separation of the three strains. In the median-joining network, the Syrian horses were grouped into seven major haplogroups. These results suggest that more than five ancestors exist that share common maternal haplotypes with other horse breeds.
KeywordsGenetic diversity Phylogeny Arabian horse strains Mitochondrial DNA D-loop
This study was founded by the IDB Merit Scholarship Program for High Technology (MSP). We thank the Arabian Horse Office, the Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, the National Commission for Biotechnology in Syria, all Arabian horse authorities and owners represented by Mr. Bassel Jadaan, Mr. Ghayath AL Shaieb, and Mr. Mahmoud Anzarouti for their support and collaboration.
S.A., M.R. and G.A.B. planned the project. S.A. and M.R. designed the study. S.A. collected the samples, performed the experiments, and analyzed the data. S.A. and M.R. wrote the first draft of the paper. All authors contributed to writing the final manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
There are no competing interests.
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