• Equus caballus;
  • Myostatin;
  • polymorphism


The myostatin gene (MSTN) belongs to the TGF-β superfamily of secreted growth and differentiation factors and is responsible for embryonic and adult skeletal muscle development. In this study, exon 2 of the MSTN gene, which encodes part of the TGF-β pro-peptide, was sequenced in 332 horses of 20 different breeds and compared with the horse MSTN gene sequence deposited in GenBank. The sequences obtained revealed the presence of 11 haplotypes represented by 10 variable nucleotide mutations, eight of them corresponding to amino acid sequence changes. This gene shows a high variability when compared with other genes. This might be an indication that some breeds have the same ancestry but different pressures of selection.