To obtain more knowledge of the origin and genetic diversity of domestic horses in China, this study provides a comprehensive analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop sequence diversity from nine horse breeds in China in conjunction with ancient DNA data and evidence from archaeological and historical records. A 247-bp mitochondrial D-loop sequence from 182 modern samples revealed a total of 70 haplotypes with a high level of genetic diversity," researchers in Yangling, People's Republic of China report (see also Animal Science).
"Seven major mtDNA haplogroups (A-G) and 16 clusters were identified for the 182 Chinese modern horses. In the present study, nine 247-bp mitochondrial D-loop sequences of ancient remains of Bronze Age horse from the Chifeng region of Inner Mongolia in China (c. 4000-2000a bp) were used to explore the origin and diversity of Chinese modern horses and the phylogenetic relationship between ancient and modern horses. The nine ancient horses carried seven haplotypes with rich genetic diversity, which were clustered together with modern individuals among haplogroups A, E and F. Modern domestic horse and ancient horse data support the multiple origins of domestic horses in China. This study supports the argument that multiple successful events of horse domestication, including separate introductions of wild mares into the domestic herds, may have occurred in antiquity, and that China cannot be excluded from these events. Indeed, the association of Far Eastern mtDNA types to haplogroup F was highly significant using Fisher's exact test of independence (P = 0.00002), lending support for Chinese domestication of this haplogroup," wrote C.Z. Lei and colleagues.
The researchers concluded: "High diversity and all seven mtDNA haplogroups (A-G) with 16 clusters also suggest that further work is necessary to shed more light on horse domestication in China."
Lei and colleagues published their study in Animal Genetics (Multiple maternal origins of native modern and ancient horse populations in China. Animal Genetics, 2009;40(6):933-944).
For additional information, contact H. Chen, NW A&F University, College Animal Science & Technology, Shaanxi Key Laboratory Molecular Biology Agriculture, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China.
Publisher contact information for the journal Animal Genetics is: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc., Commerce Place, 350 Main St., Malden 02148, MA, USA.
Keywords: City:Yangling, Country:People's Republic of China, Animal Science, Life Sciences
This article was prepared by Life Science Weekly editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2009, Life Science Weekly via NewsRx.com.
"Reports outline animal science study results from C.Z. Lei et al." Life Science Weekly 8 Dec. 2009: 202. Academic OneFile. Web. 4 Dec. 2009.
Gale Document Number:A213451301
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