Articles | Volume 60, issue 2
Arch. Anim. Breed., 60, 137–143, 2017
Arch. Anim. Breed., 60, 137–143, 2017

Original study 08 Jun 2017

Original study | 08 Jun 2017

Diversity and effective population size of four horse breeds from microsatellite DNA markers in South-Central Mexico

José Fernando Vázquez-Armijo1, Gaspar Manuel Parra-Bracamonte2, Miguel Abraham Velazquez3, Ana María Sifuentes-Rincón2, José Luis Tinoco-Jaramillo4, Pascuala Ambriz-Morales2, Williams Arellano-Vera2, and Victor Ricardo Moreno-Medina2 José Fernando Vázquez-Armijo et al.
  • 1Centro Universitario UAEM Temascaltepec, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM). Km. 67.5 Carretera Federal Toluca-Tejupilco, Código Postal 51300, Temascaltepec, Estado de México, Mexico
  • 2Centro de Biotecnología Genómica, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Boulevard del Maestro, esquina Elías Piña, Colonia Narciso Mendoza, Código Postal 88710, Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico
  • 3School of Agriculture, Food & Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
  • 4Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Avenida Unidad 3000, Circuito Exterior, Ciudad Universitaria, Delegación Coyoacán, Código Postal 04510, Distrito Federal, Mexico

Abstract. The South-Central region of Mexico has experienced a sizeable introduction of purebred horses for recreational aims. A study was designed to assess effective population sizes and genetic diversity and to verify the genetic integrity of four horse breeds. Using a 12-microsatellite panel, Quarter Horse, Azteca, Thoroughbred and Creole (CRL) horses were sampled and analysed for diversity and genetic structure. Genetic diversity parameters showed high numbers of heterozygous horses but small effective population sizes in all breeds. Population structure results suggested some degree of admixture of CRL with the other reference breeds. The highly informative microsatellite panel allowed the verification of diversity in introduced horse populations and the confirmation of small effective population sizes, which suggests a risk for future breed integrity.

Short summary
This study assesses genetic diversity and population structure of Quarter Horse, Azteca, Thoroughbred and Creole horses, frequently used for horse dancing competitions in traditional regional festivities. Since most animals in the studied area are used as breeders, the results support the improvement of management strategies, including periodical assessment of these populations to ensure acceptable population sizes and breed integrity, and documenting genetic flow and reproductive management.