Articles | Volume 58, issue 1
04 Mar 2015
 | 04 Mar 2015

Genetic diversity in Hucul and Polish primitive horse breeds

M. Mackowski, S. Mucha, G. Cholewinski, and J. Cieslak

Abstract. Pedigree and molecular data were used to evaluate genetic diversity in the Polish populations of the Polish primitive horse (also known as Polish Konik) and Hucul breeds over the time period of 30 years (1980–2011). Based on genotypes in 12 microsatellite loci (for 3865 Polish primitive horses and 1627 Huculs), as well as on pedigree data derived from over 7000 individuals (both breeds), several indices describing structure of the analysed populations were estimated. For both analysed breeds, we observed an increasing trend of inbreeding since 1980 which seems to be much more stable (oscillating around 10 % in the Polish primitive horse and 5 % in Hucul) since the beginning of 2000s when they were included in conservation programs in Poland. We observed that generally, indices related to genetic diversity are higher in the Hucul breed. Our study indicated that genetic diversity in the Polish primitive horse and Hucul breeds in Poland is still relatively high and conservation programs should be continued to keep it on the "safe" level in the future.