In domestic horses, the mutation has had a major impact on their diversification, as the altered gait characteristics of a number of breeds apparently require this mutation, according to a study that includes a Texas A&M University researcher.
Gus Cothran, a professor in the Animal Genetic Lab of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, is part of a team of researchers that examined motion in horses and also mice. Their findings are published in the current issue of Nature magazine.
Cothran and the team used a process called "whole genome SNP analysis" to study the genes of 70 Icelandic horses that had either four gaits or five, with the pace being the fifth gait. This pointed to a gene identified as DMRT3 that is critical for horse motion and limb movement.
They found that DMRT3 has a major impact on the movement of a horse, especially its gait. Horses have gaits classified in three descriptions of speed: walk, trot and gallop.
" 'Gaitedness' is a trait that naturally occurs in all horses, but many breeds have been developed for a specific speed or gait," Cothran explains.
The team sequenced the DMRT3 gene of the test horses and found that in almost every case of gaited horses, there was mutation in the DMRT3 that caused a premature "stop codon" which causes the protein product of the gene to be terminated before the whole protein is completed. This alters the function of the protein which leads to the differences associated with the gait.
Cothran and the team also examined the same gene and its effect on mice.
"We specifically looked at the gene and its effect on the movement of mice, such as its swimming ability," he adds.
"The motion ability of mice seemed suppressed and was similar, though not identical to that of gaited horses."
Cothran says with more research, the findings could have critical importance to horse breeding and horse racing. Many horses are specifically bred for certain types of gait, such as harness racing.
"We need to examine the DMRT3 on certain breeds and see if it can directly affect the speed and movement of horses," he adds.
"Naturally, it's something that horse breeders and anyone involved with horse racing would be interested in and would want to know about. These findings could have a major impact on future horse breeding.
"We think it's an exciting step in looking at motion, speed and limb movement, and it's possible it could have implications in other species, too."
The project was funded by grants from the Swedish Brain Foundation and computer resources were supplied by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Research.
About Research at Texas A&M University:
As one of the world's leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represents an annual investment of more than $700 million. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world.
Media contact: Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Gus Cothran at (979) 845-0229 or email@example.com
More news about Texas A&M University, go to http://tamutimes.tamu.edu/
Researchers discover natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
16.07.2018 | UCLA Samueli School of Engineering
Advance warning system via cell phone app: Avoiding extreme weather damage in agriculture
12.07.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine