Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The gene that turns ponies into large horses

14.02.2013
TiHo researchers discover genetic causes of the body sizes of horses

Ponies have a maximum height of 148 centimetres. When the height at the withers is greater, they are deemed to be large horses. Scientists at the Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics at University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo) have investigated genetic causes for different body sizes in horses and found a gene with a very strong impact on size.

The researchers compared thousands of genetic variations between ponies and larger horses to determine whether a specific mutation is responsible for size differences in horses. Such point mutations on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most common causes of genetic variations. Scientists then used gene expression analysis to identify a gene that has a crucial effect on the size development of horses. The results have been published in PloS One, an international specialised journal, at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0056497.

The growth of the horses is determined by a mutation that influences the LCORL (ligand-dependent nuclear receptor compressor-like protein) gene. This mutation has the effect that the gene is not read as often in large horses as it is in ponies. "We conclude from these findings that LCORL limits size growth in horses. The more strongly LCORL is expressed, the smaller the horses are" said Professor Dr Ottmar Distl, the head of the Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics at TiHo. All original Przewalski wild horses carried the pony mutation and purebred Arab horses also have only this genetic variant.

Warmblood horses show a greater variation of the height at the withers and have a great genetic variation. Almost half of this variation is due to regulatory mutation affecting LCORL. The smaller warmblood horses are homozygous for the pony mutation. Warmblood horses in the medium-sized range carry both genetic variants and are therefore heterozygous, while large warmblood horses are homozygous for the large horse mutation.

The large coldblood horse breeds such as the Rhenish-German Coldblood, the Saxon-Thuringia Coldblood, the Noriker and the South-German Coldblood do not include animals with the homozygous pony mutation and only a few of them are heterozygous. "The distribution of the pony mutation in the different horse breeds suggests that the mutation prevailing in large horses arose during the domestication of horses in Western Europe," explained Professor Distl.

LCORL influences the torso and hip length in humans, but does not act as a major regulator for size. However, scientists assume that LCORL has a very strong effect on the size of horses. There are also other genes involved in the complex characteristic "body size" and the scientists plan to investigate these genes in further studies.

Horse breeders can use these new findings for their breeding decisions. The Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics at TiHo offers gene testing for this purpose. Further information is provided on the institute's website: www.tiho-hannover.de/kliniken-institute/institute/institur-fuer-tierzucht-und-vererbungsforschung /dienstleistungen/gentest/gentests-pferd/

For specialised queries, please contact:

Professor Dr. Ottmar Distl
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics
Tel.: +49 511 953-8875
ottmar.distl@tiho-hannover.de

Sonja von Brethorst | idw
Further information:
http://www.tiho-hannover.de

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>