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National Animal Genome Research Program
Department of Veterinary Sciences
Biological research is best conducted in context of the most complete genomic information available for the species in question. The horse benefits from the strong homology that exists among mammals and the recent completion of a whole genome sequence for the horse. This information is a valuable tool that will enhance and enable new research in diverse areas of horse health and welfare including genetics, infectious disease investigations, reproductive physiology, therapeutics, nutrition and general physiology.
Although a genome sequence has been completed, research in this area is needed to make the information more readily available through bioinformatics portals, create new tools to take advantage of this resource and to provide expertise in collaborative activities to harvest the fruit of these new tools. Success of this activity will be apparent as the creation of new information that will be published in scientific and lay media as well as the development of new diagnostic tests and therapeutic treatments to benefit the health and welfare of horses.
2010 Project Description
During 2010 scientists met in connection with horse genomics studies at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference in San Diego, the International Society of Animal Genetics Conference in Edinburgh and at the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock in Germany. At the conferences, scientists presented outputs in terms of tests for several diseases and phenotypic traits of horses including racing performance, developmental bone diseases, white color markings, dwarfism and muscle diseases. A special issue of the journal, Animal Genetics, was jointly published by workshop participants. A website was maintained and industry questions regarding genetics and genomics were fielded by experts.
Applications of the Whole Genome Association studies were effective in identifying genetic principles for swayback in Saddlebred horses, dwarfism in miniature horses, susceptibility genes for viral diseases in horses. Specific tests were developed for appaloosa color pattern and dwarfism and for another variant of dominant white coloration in horses. Evidence was found for a role of mast cells in causing laminitis in horses. In addition, a method was developed to test for major histocompatibility complex haplotypes in horses using microsatellite markers. These reports demonstrate the ease of discovery of useful information using genomics tools for horses.
Bellone, R.B., Forsyth, G., Leeb, T., Archer, S., Sigurdsson, S., Mauceli, E., Enquensteiner, M., Bailey, E., Sandmeyer, L., and Grahn, B. (2010) Fine mapping and mutation analysis of TRPM1, a candidate gene for Leopard Complex (LP) spotting and congential stationary Night Blindness (CNSB) in horses. Briefings in Functional Genomics and Proteomics Advance Access published on March 29, 2010; doi: doi:10.1093/bfgp/elq002
Tseng, C.T., Miller, D. Cassano, J., Bailey, E. and Antczak, D.F. (2010) Molecular identification of equine major histocompatibility complex haplotypes using polymorphic microsatellites. Animal Genetics 41(supl 2):150-153.
Cook, D., Gallagher, P.C. and Bailey, E. (2010) Genetics of swayback in American Saddlebred Horses. Animal Genetics 41(supl 2):64-71.
Brooks, S.A., and Bailey, E. (2010) RT-qPCR comparison of mast cell populations in whole blood from healthy horses and those with laminitis. Animal Genetics 41(supl 2):16-22.
Holl, H., Brooks, S. and Bailey, E. (2010) De novo mutation of KIT discovered as a result of non-hereditary white coat color pattern. Animal Genetics 41(supl 2):196-198.
Binns, M., Boehler, D., Bailey, E., Lear, T., Cardwell, J., and Lambert, D. (2010) Inbreeding in the Thoroughbred horse. Animal Genetics (in press).
Bailey, E. (2010) Relevance of genomics to equine reproduction. In A.O. McKinnon (ed), Equine Reproduction. Blackwell Publishing. In press.
Bailey, E. (2010) Equine Parentage. In A.O. McKinnon (ed), Equine Reproduction. Blackwell Publishing. In press.
Eberth, J., Swerczek, T., and Bailey, E. (2009) Investigation of dwarfism among miniature horses using the Illumina Horse SNP50 Bead Chip. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 29:315.
Cook, D. , Gallagher, P., and Bailey, E. (2009) Illumina Equine SNP50 Bead Chip investigation of adolescent idiopathic lordosis among American Saddlebred Horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 29:315-316.