Genetic Differentiation of the Two Types of Polish Cold-blooded Horses Included in the National Conservation Program
Center for Experimental and Innovative Medicine, University of Agriculture in Kraków, Rędzina 1c, 30-248 Kraków, Poland
Department of Animal Molecular Biology, National Research Institute of Animal Production, Krakowska 1, 32-083 Balice, Poland
Department of Horse Breeding, National Research Institute of Animal Production, Krakowska 1, 32-083 Balice, Poland
Department of Animal Reproduction, Anatomy and Genomics, University of Agriculture in Kraków, al. Mickiewicza 24/28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 February 2020 / Revised: 19 March 2020 / Accepted: 23 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
In this study we investigated the degree of genetic differentiation among two types of Polish cold-blooded horses, namely Sokólski and Sztumski. Both these horse types are a subject of conservation breeding as their populations have been dramatically reduced during recent decades. These cold-blooded horses are considered as separate breeds, with separate stud books, but yet still their genetic differentiation has not been precisely determined, especially on the genome–wide level. In this study, we characterized genetic differentiation of these two horse populations as well as their genetic variation, admixture patterns, and level of relatedness within populations with the use of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping arrays. We also attempted to detect genome regions with the largest genetic differences between those horses by the detection of so-called diversifying selection signals. The results of this study provide initial evidence supporting decisions made during conservation breeding program design and answer some of the questions raised by the breeders of Sokólski and Sztumski horses.