SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • horse breed history;
  • microsatellites;
  • proteins;
  • genetic variation

Summary

There are three native Portuguese horse breeds: Lusitano, Sorraia and Garrano. This study compares diversity patterns of 17 protein and 12 microsatellite markers in these three as well as 30 other breeds to infer relationships among the breeds and to compare levels of polymorphism of these breeds for use in conservation efforts. The Garrano and the Lusitano showed a high level of genetic diversity, similar to that observed for most of the other analysed breeds, while the Sorraia and Friesian breeds showed low levels of variation for both genetic marker types. The combined protein and microsatellite data produced a tree that fit historical records well and with greater confidence levels than those for either data set alone. The combined genetic diversity and relationship information provides important baseline data for future breed conservation efforts, especially for a critically endangered breed such as the Sorraia.