Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Basque Country horses

08.03.2006


Seven years ago a number of breeders’ groups showed interest in the genetic analysis of the autochthonous breeds of horse from the Basque Country. Thus, at the Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology of the University of the Basque Country (EHU-UPV), sheep, cows and horses native to Euskal Herria were studied. The aim of this livestock study was to find out the state of conservation of these breeds and also to identify the animals. What is more, thanks to the work of the farmhouses, these native breeds have conserved much of their original characteristics.



In the case of horses, four breeds were studied: the pottokas, the Basque mountain pony, the Jaca Navarra and the Burguete breed. Three genetic markers were used for the analysis.

Paternity and variability


First the genetic variability of these livestock breeds was analysed to see if the native animals had sufficient variability in the face of possible diseases. To this end, microsatellites were selected – regions of DNA with specific features – as primary markers.

Microsatellites moreover, are highly useful for identification. With these, the equivalent of a fingerprint can be compiled for each horse; that is to say, they can be used to identify both the mother and the father with 90 % accuracy.

417 animals were analysed in all: 147 pottokas, 163 Basque mountain ponies, 62 Jacas Navarras and 45 of the Burguete horse breed. Two of these breeds are heavy or given over to meat production (Jaca Navarra and Burguete); on the other hand, the other two are considered to be lightweight breeds.

According to the results, the two breeds for meat production are crossed with foreign breeds in order to increase their size and weight; particularly, stallions from outside have been used. So, one can observe a gradient between the autochthonous breeds: the pottoka has had the least external influence and the Burguete breed the most.

Also, comparing breeds native to the Basque Country with others, it was observed that the former have a greater genetic variability in terms of their microsatellites. This has an explanation: native breeds usually run wild in the mountains and so, a mare may be mounted by more than one stallion.

Morphology and genes

Subsequently the researchers selected as a second marker a SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) of a gene related to the morphology of animals. Given that the four breeds are morphologically different, they wished to see if this difference existed genetically as well. The results showed that an SNP variant hardly appeared in the pottokas; on the other hand, the greater the influence of outside breeds, the more this variant appeared. According to the data, in this case also, it is the pottoka that has had the least external influence.

Maternal information

The last marker analysed was mitochondrial DNA – solely from the mother. With mitochondrial DNA the phylogenetic relations between the four native breeds can be defined. Moreover, the relations with other breeds in the world and their origin can be known.

The results show that the four native breeds are related to each other; above all there are geographical relations: the pottoka with the Basque mountain pony and the Jaca Navarra with the Burguete. Moreover, it has been observed that there are relations with other breeds in Europe and the rest of the world. But there still exist many gaps to fill in order to establish the phylogenetic relations of the European breeds.

There is also the significant data that a variant of the SNP has only been found here and in England.

Thus, these studies have thrown up some interesting and indicative data but it would appear that, in concrete, in the Iberian Peninsula there still remains important data to be discovered about the domestication of the horse in Europe.

Garazi Andonegi | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&hizk=I&Berri_Kod=913

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Identifying drug targets for leukaemia
02.05.2016 | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

nachricht A cell senses its own curves: New research from the MBL Whitman Center
29.04.2016 | Marine Biological Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: 2+1 is Not Always 3 - In the microworld unity is not always strength

If a person pushes a broken-down car alone, there is a certain effect. If another person helps, the result is the sum of their efforts. If two micro-particles are pushing another microparticle, however, the resulting effect may not necessarily be the sum their efforts. A recent study published in Nature Communications, measured this odd effect that scientists call “many body.”

In the microscopic world, where the modern miniaturized machines at the new frontiers of technology operate, as long as we are in the presence of two...

Im Focus: Tiny microbots that can clean up water

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.

Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...

Im Focus: ORNL researchers discover new state of water molecule

Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...

Im Focus: Bionic Lightweight Design researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute at Hannover Messe 2016

Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid

Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...

Im Focus: New world record for fullerene-free polymer solar cells

Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This work is about avoiding costly and unstable fullerenes.

Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The “AC21 International Forum 2016” is About to Begin

27.04.2016 | Event News

Soft switching combines efficiency and improved electro-magnetic compatibility

15.04.2016 | Event News

Grid-Supportive Buildings Give Boost to Renewable Energy Integration

12.04.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Identifying drug targets for leukaemia

02.05.2016 | Life Sciences

Clay nanotube-biopolymer composite scaffolds for tissue engineering

02.05.2016 | Materials Sciences

NASA's Fermi Telescope helps link cosmic neutrino to blazar blast

02.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>