Improved Equine Genetic Map Released

By re-analyzing DNA from a Thoroughbred mare named Twilight using updated equipment, scientists corrected thousands of errors in the original sequence released in 2009.
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improved equine genetic map released
By re-analyzing DNA from this Thoroughbred mare named Twilight using updated equipment, scientists corrected thousands of errors in the original sequence released in 2009. | Photo: Courtesy of the Cornell Equine Genetics Center Baker Institute for Animal Health

Research conducted University of Louisville (UofL) and University of Kentucky (UK) scientists has produced a more complete picture of the domestic horse reference genome, a map researchers will use to determine the role inherited genes and other regions of DNA play in many horse diseases and traits important in equine science and management.

By re-analyzing DNA from a Thoroughbred named Twilight, the basis for the original horse reference genome, scientists generated a more than ten-fold increase in data and types of data to correct thousands of errors in the original sequence. Since the original genome was released in 2009, there have been dramatic improvements in nucleotide sequencing technology and the computational hardware and algorithms used to analyze data. It is now easier and less expensive to build a reference genome.

The new equine reference genome, called EquCab3.0, was published in Communications Biology, representing the work of 21 co-authors from 14 universities and academic centers around the world. The horse reference genome is publicly available through the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Institutes of Health, at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome?term=equus%20caballus

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