Fertility is one of the key factors in the economic and productive success of the equine industry. Despite this, studies on the genetic causes affecting reproductive performance are scarce, especially in mares, where the genetic architecture of the reproductive traits is extremely complex. Today, with the increasing availability of new genomic methodologies for this species, we are presented with an interesting opportunity to understand the genetic basis of equine reproductive disorders. These include, among others, novel techniques for detecting chromosomal abnormalities, whose association with infertility in horses was established over 50 years ago; new sequencing technologies permitting an accurate detection of point mutations influencing fertility, as well as the study of inbreeding and molecular homozygosity, which has been widely suggested as one of the main causes of low reproductive performance in horses. Finally, over the last few years, reproductive performance has also been associated with copy number variants and candidate genes detected by genome-wide association studies on fertility traits. However, such studies are still scarce, probably because they depend on the existence of large and accurate phenotypic datasets of reproductive and/or fertility traits, which are still difficult to obtain in equines.
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