University of Oulu

Kvist, L., Niskanen, M. Modern Northern Domestic Horses Carry Mitochondrial DNA Similar to Przewalski’s Horse. J Mammal Evol 28, 371–376 (2021).

Modern Northern domestic horses carry mitochondrial DNA similar to Przewalski’s horse

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Author: Kvist, Laura1; Niskanen, Markku2
Organizations: 1Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, POB 8000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Research Unit of History, Culture and Communications, University of Oulu, POB 8000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-01


Several recent studies have suggested past gene flow between the Przewalski’s horse and modern domestic horse and questioned the wild origin of the Przewalski’s horse. Mitochondrial DNA has placed representatives of the Przewalski’s horse into three among the eighteen haplogroups detected from the modern horse. Of these, two haplogroups have so far been found exclusively in the Przewalski’s horse, while the one shared with the domestic horse includes captive individuals that have uncertain pedigrees. We recently found five domestic horse individuals of North European horse breeds to carry a mitochondrial haplogroup that was previously confined only to the Przewalski’s horse. These individuals were sequenced for 6039 bp of mitochondrial DNA and used, together with domestic and Przewalski’s horse sequences presenting all horse haplogroups, to examine the phylogenetic relationships and to date the divergence time between Przewalski’s and domestic horse clusters within this haplogroup. The divergence was dated to have likely occurred about 13,300–11,400 years ago, which coincides with the time of the Younger Dryas.

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Series: Journal of mammalian evolution
ISSN: 1064-7554
ISSN-E: 1573-7055
ISSN-L: 1064-7554
Volume: 28
Pages: 371 - 376
DOI: 10.1007/s10914-020-09517-6
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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