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Logo Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology
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Arch. Anim. Breed., 60, 153-160, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-60-153-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Original study
13 Jun 2017
Genetic diversity in Tunisian horse breeds
Bayrem Jemmali1, Mohamed Mezir Haddad2, Nawel Barhoumi1, Syrine Tounsi1, Faten Lasfer2, Amira Trabelsi3, Belgacem Ben Aoun2, Imen Gritli3, Soufiene Ezzar2, Abdelhak Ben Younes3, Mohamed Habib Ezzaouia2, Boulbaba Rekik1, and Hatem Ouled Ahmed3 1Laboratoire d'Amélioration et de Développement Intégré de la Productivité Animale et des Ressources Alimentaires, Ecole Supérieure d'Agriculture de Mateur, Université de Carthage, Carthage, Tunisia
2Fondation Nationale d'Amélioration de la Race Chevaline, Sidi Thabet, Tunisia
3Laboratoire d'Analyse Génétique Animale, Institut de la Recherche Vétérinaire de Tunisie, Tunis, Tunisia
Abstract. This study aimed at screening genetic diversity and differentiation in four horse breeds raised in Tunisia, the Barb, Arab-Barb, Arabian, and English Thoroughbred breeds. A total of 200 blood samples (50 for each breed) were collected from the jugular veins of animals, and genomic DNA was extracted. The analysis of the genetic structure was carried out using a panel of 16 microsatellite loci. Results showed that all studied microsatellite markers were highly polymorphic in all breeds. Overall, a total of 147 alleles were detected using the 16 microsatellite loci. The average number of alleles per locus was 7.52 (0.49), 7.35 (0.54), 6.3 (0.44), and 6 (0.38) for the Arab-Barb, Barb, Arabian, and English Thoroughbred breeds, respectively. The observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.63 (0.03) in the English Thoroughbred to 0.72 in the Arab-Barb breeds, whereas the expected heterozygosities were between 0.68 (0.02) in the English Thoroughbred and 0.73 in the Barb breeds. All FST values calculated by pairwise breed combinations were significantly different from zero (p  <  0.05) and an important genetic differentiation among breeds was revealed. Genetic distances, the factorial correspondence, and principal coordinate analyses showed that the important amount of genetic variation was within population. These results may facilitate conservation programs for the studied breeds and enhance preserve their genetic diversity.

Citation: Jemmali, B., Haddad, M. M., Barhoumi, N., Tounsi, S., Lasfer, F., Trabelsi, A., Ben Aoun, B., Gritli, I., Ezzar, S., Ben Younes, A., Ezzaouia, M. H., Rekik, B., and Ouled Ahmed, H.: Genetic diversity in Tunisian horse breeds, Arch. Anim. Breed., 60, 153-160, https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-60-153-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
This study aimed at screening genetic diversity and differentiation in four horse breeds raised in Tunisia: the Barb (BA), Arab-Barb (AB), Arabian (AR), and English Thoroughbred (TS) breeds. A total of 200 blood samples were collected and genomic DNA was extracted. The average number of alleles per locus was 7.52 (0.49), 7.35 (0.54), 6.3 (0.44), and 6 (0.38) for the AB, BA, AR, and TS, respectively. Results showed that the important amount of genetic variation was within population.
This study aimed at screening genetic diversity and differentiation in four horse breeds raised...
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