University of Oulu

Kvist, L, Honka, J, Niskanen, M, Liedes, O, Aspi, J. Selection in the Finnhorse, a native all‐around horse breed. J Anim Breed Genet. 2021; 138: 188– 203.

Selection in the Finnhorse, a native all‐around horse breed

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Author: Kvist, Laura1; Honka, Johanna1; Niskanen, Markku2;
Organizations: 1Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Research Unit of History, Culture and Communications, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-03-09


Selection by breeders modifies the morphology, behaviour and performance of domesticated species. Here, we examined signs of selection in Finnhorse, the only native horse breed in Finland. We first searched divergent genomic regions between Finnhorses and other breeds, as well as between different breeding sections of the Finnhorse with data from Illumina Equine SNP70 BeadChip, and then studied several of the detected regions in more detail. We found altogether 35 common outlier SNPs between Finnhorses and other breeds using two different selection tests. Many of the SNPs were located close to genes affecting coat colour, performance, size, sugar metabolism, immune response and olfaction. We selected genes affecting coat colour (KIT, MITF, PMEL), performance (MSTN) and locomotion (DMRT3) for a more detailed examination. In addition, we looked for, and found, associations with height at withers and SNPs located close to gene LCORL. Among the four breeding sections of Finnhorses (harness trotters, riding horses, draught horses and pony‐sized horses), a single SNP located close to the DMRT3 gene was significantly differentiated and only between harness trotters and pony‐sized horses.

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Series: Journal of animal breeding and genetics
ISSN: 0931-2668
ISSN-E: 1439-0388
ISSN-L: 0931-2668
Volume: 138
Issue: 2
Pages: 188 - 203
DOI: 10.1111/jbg.12524
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 412 Animal science, dairy science
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
Funding: This study was funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the University of Oulu.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics published by John Wiley ‐ Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.