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Genetic Markers

Genetics and Female TB Lines

  Who's Your Momma?

  mtDNA Research in Horses

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 Historic Dams

 Female Families Explained


  Genetic Markers

stallion and mare
18th century Wellesley

Top: 18th C. stallion and mare
Left: 18th C. chestnut or palomino
Right: Welleley Grey Arab
Page Top: Lord Grosvenor's mares and foals, c. 1760

While coat color genetics in equines has been understood for some time, the powerful and rapidly evolving science of genetics is now shedding light on other aspects of inheritance in horses.

The first ground-breaking study to apply the power of genetic research to thoroughbred dam lines was performed in 2000-2001 by researchers in the Department of Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and published in Animal Genetics 33, August 2002. Blackwell Publishing ( pp. 287-294. ©International Society for Animal Genetics. Oxford, England), which granted Thoroughbred Heritage permission to provide a downloadable reprint of the article, History and Integrity of Thoroughbred Dam Lines Revealed in Equine mtDNA Variation, authored by E.W. Hill, D.G. Bradley, M. Al-Barody, O. Ertugrul, R.K. Splan, I. Zakharov and E.P. Cunningham. It evaluated the mitochondrial DNA, passed from mother to daughter, in a sample population of thoroughbreds, and examined its applications to the female thoroughbred family lines first popularized by Australian Bruce Lowe. The essay "Who's Your Momma?" examines the implications of the Hill study. Geneticist Michael Bowling offers a simplified explanation of the use of mtDNA in researching pedigrees.

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