Genetic diversity within and relationships among Dutch horse populations Genotype data from 9 horse populations sampled in the Netherlands with about 20 horses per population were analysed to quantify genetic relationships and diversity and to increase our understanding of their evolutionary history. Level of inbreeding was low in populations that allowed introgression like the royal Dutch sport horse (KWPN) population. Rather high and more recent inbreeding, as indicated by the contribution of long runs of homozygosity (ROHs) to the genome, was detected in closed populations such as the Friesian horse population. The multidimensional scaling analysis firstly separated the warmblood and coldblood populations, and secondly the Friesian horse, Icelandic horse and Shetland pony populations from the other populations. Genetic differentiation was smallest among the four Dutch warmblood horse populations, while differentiation from other populations was largest for the Friesian horse and Shetland pony populations. ROHs aided in understanding breeding history as it enabled us to differentiate between more recent and past inbreeding. Estimated diversity within and most of the quantified relationships among the populations were as expected based on their history and classifications. Our study shows how admixture, drift and demography have shaped the genome-wide diversity of these populations in the Netherlands. Future research will identify which populations comprise unique genes and contribute significantly to the total genetic diversity to ultimately be able to make well-informed decisions in genetic conservation. Keywords: genetic diversity, horses, population structure, runs of homozygosity

A. Schurink, M. Shrestha, S. Eriksson, M. Bosse, H. Bovenhuis, J.K. Oldenbroek, J.J. Windig, S.J. Hiemstra, W. Back, A.M. Johansson, B.J. Ducro

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Electronic Poster Session - Challenges - Species Conservation, , 268, 2018
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