Biodiv Sci ›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (3): 240-247.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2009.08346

• Editorial • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Genetic diversity of 23 Chinese indigenous horse breeds revealed by microsatellite markers

Yinghui Ling1,2, Yuejiao Cheng1,2,3, Yanping Wang1,2,3, Weijun Guan1,2, Jianlin Han1,2, Baoling Fu1,2, Qianjun Zhao1,2, Xiaohong He1,2, Yabin Pu1,2, Yuehui Ma1,2,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193
    2 The Key Laboratory for Farm Animal Genetic Resources and Utilization of Ministry of Agriculture of China, Beijing 100193
    3 College of Animal Science and Technology, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu 030801
  • Received:2008-12-26 Accepted:2009-03-28 Online:2009-05-20 Published:2009-05-20
  • Contact: Yuehui Ma


In order to investigate the genetic differentiation, we studied the genetic structure and genetic variation of 23 Chinese indigenous horse breeds and one thoroughbred horse population using 25 microsatellite markers. The number of alleles, polymorphism information content (PIC) and heterozygosity showed that genetic diversity in Chinese horses was higher than the thoroughbred horse. Neighbour-joining (NJ) dendrogram clustered Chinese horse populations and the thoroughbred horse into different groups. Furthermore, Chinese horse populations were grouped into several different phylogenetic clusters which corresponded to the geographic regions. Cluster analysis was performed by the Multivariate Statistical Package (MVSP), demonstrating that thoroughbred horse was discriminated from all the studied populations based on the three-dimensional scatter plot for the first three factors. Two-dimensional scatter plot for the first two principal factors divided Chinese horse populations into five groups: southern China, Tibet, Xinjiang and Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, and Northeast China. Genetic structure revealed by the software package Structure 2.2 displayed five potential elementary genetic groups in Chinese modern horses.

Key words: horse, genetic variation, genetic differentiation, population structure