Animal genetics2011; 43(1); 53-62; doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2011.02210.x

A microsatellite analysis of five Colonial Spanish horse populations of the southeastern United States.

Abstract: The domestic horse (Equus caballus) was re-introduced to the Americas by Spanish explorers. Although horses from other parts of Europe were subsequently introduced, some New World populations maintain characteristics ascribed to their Spanish heritage. The southeastern United States has a history of Spanish invasion and settlement, and this influence on local feral horse populations includes two feral-recaptured breeds: the Florida Cracker and the Marsh Tacky, both of which are classified as Colonial Spanish horses. The feral Banker horses found on islands off the coast of North Carolina, which include, among others, the Shackleford Banks, the Corolla and the Ocracoke, are also Colonial Spanish horses. Herein we analyse 15 microsatellite loci from 532 feral and 2583 domestic horses in order to compare the genetic variation of these five Colonial Spanish Horse populations to 40 modern horse breeds. We find that the Corolla horse has very low heterozygosity and that both the Corolla and Ocracoke populations have a low mean number of alleles. We also find that the Florida Cracker population has a heterozygosity deficit. In addition, we find evidence of similarity of the Shackleford Banks, Marsh Tacky and Florida Cracker populations to New World Iberian horse breeds, while the origins of the other two populations are less clear.
Publication Date: 2011-05-23 PubMed ID: 22221025DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2011.02210.xGoogle Scholar: Lookup
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  • Journal Article

Summary

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The research article deals with the study of five Colonial Spanish horse populations in the southeastern United States, using microsatellite analysis. This method is used to compare the genetic diversity of these populations to 40 modern horse breeds.

Background

  • The study focuses on the domestic horse (Equus caballus) that was reintroduced in the Americas by Spanish explorers.
  • Despite other horses from different regions of Europe being introduced later, some New World populations still maintain characteristics connected to their Spanish heritage.
  • The southeastern United States, with its history of Spanish invasion and settlement, is one such area with the influence of Spanish heritage on local feral horse populations.

The Studied Populations

  • Two feral-recaptured breeds – the Florida Cracker and the Marsh Tacky – both of which are classified as Colonial Spanish horses.
  • The feral Banker horses from islands off the coast of North Carolina, specifically the Shackleford Banks, the Corolla, and the Ocracoke, are also considered Colonial Spanish horses.

Method and Findings

  • The study incorporates an analysis of 15 microsatellite loci from 532 feral and 2583 domestic horses.
  • The objective is to compare the genetic variation of the five Colonial Spanish Horse populations with 40 modern horse breeds.
  • The research showed low heterozygosity in the Corolla horse population and a low mean number of alleles in both the Corolla and Ocracoke populations, indicating a low level of diversity.
  • The Florida Cracker population demonstrated a heterozygosity deficit, implying a deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.
  • Furthermore, the study established a similarity of the Shackleford Banks, Marsh Tacky, and Florida Cracker horse populations to New World Iberian horse breeds.
  • The genetic origins of the other two studied populations (Corolla and Ocracoke) were, however, less clear.

Conclusion

  • This study provides crucial insight into the genetic variation and diversity of the five Colonial Spanish horse populations in the southeastern United States.
  • It highlights the unique Spanish heritage in these horse populations and their genetic relation to modern horse breeds.

Cite This Article

APA
Conant EK, Juras R, Cothran EG. (2011). A microsatellite analysis of five Colonial Spanish horse populations of the southeastern United States. Anim Genet, 43(1), 53-62. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2052.2011.02210.x

Publication

ISSN: 1365-2052
NlmUniqueID: 8605704
Country: England
Language: English
Volume: 43
Issue: 1
Pages: 53-62

Researcher Affiliations

Conant, E K
  • Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4458, USA.
Juras, R
    Cothran, E G

      MeSH Terms

      • Animals
      • Equidae / genetics
      • Europe
      • Horses / genetics
      • Microsatellite Repeats
      • Phylogeny
      • Southeastern United States

      Citations

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