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Article

Genomic Regions Associated with the Position and Number of Hair Whorls in Horses

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Escola de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), Salvador 40170-110, BA, Brazil
2
Departamento de Melhoramento e Nutrição Animal, Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp), Botucatu 18618-681, SP, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Heather Huson
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2925; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102925
Received: 10 September 2021 / Revised: 6 October 2021 / Accepted: 6 October 2021 / Published: 10 October 2021
Whorls have been used to indicate the temperaments of domestic animals; however, little is known about the biological events that drive this association. The present study is the first that aims to find the main genomic regions that influence the whorl traits in livestock, with horses as a model. Genes related to hair follicle growth were found. Interestingly, some of these genes also influence psychiatric diseases and neurological disorders, thus evidencing a consistent biological explanation for the association.
The position and number of hair whorls have been associated with the behavior, temperament, and laterality of horses. The easy observation of whorls assists in the prediction of reactivity, and thus permits the development of better measures of handling, training, mounting, and riding horses. However, little is known about the genetics involved in the formation of hair whorls. Therefore, the aim of this study was to perform a genome-wide association analysis to identify chromosome regions and candidate genes associated with hair whorl traits. Data from 342 Quarter Horses genotyped for approximately 53,000 SNPs were used in an association study using a single-step procedure. The following traits were analyzed: vertical position of hair whorl on the head, number of whorls on the head, and number of whorls on the left and right sides of the neck. The traits had between one and three genomic windows associated. Each of them explained at least 4% of the additive variance. The windows accounted for 20–80% of additive variance for each trait analyzed. Many of the prospected genes are related to hair follicle growth. Some of these genes exert a pleiotropic effect on neurological and behavioral traits. This is the first indication of biological and physiological activity that might explain the association of hair whorls and temperament. View Full-Text
Keywords: behavior; hair follicle; Quarter Horse; SNP; temperament behavior; hair follicle; Quarter Horse; SNP; temperament
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lima, D.F.P.d.A.; da Cruz, V.A.R.; Pereira, G.L.; Curi, R.A.; Costa, R.B.; de Camargo, G.M.F. Genomic Regions Associated with the Position and Number of Hair Whorls in Horses. Animals 2021, 11, 2925. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102925

AMA Style

Lima DFPdA, da Cruz VAR, Pereira GL, Curi RA, Costa RB, de Camargo GMF. Genomic Regions Associated with the Position and Number of Hair Whorls in Horses. Animals. 2021; 11(10):2925. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102925

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lima, Diogo Felipe Pereira de Assis, Valdecy Aparecida Rocha da Cruz, Guilherme Luís Pereira, Rogério Abdallah Curi, Raphael Bermal Costa, and Gregório Miguel Ferreira de Camargo. 2021. "Genomic Regions Associated with the Position and Number of Hair Whorls in Horses" Animals 11, no. 10: 2925. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102925

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