Genetic Diversity of mtDNA D-loop and Maternal Origin of Three Chinese Native Horse Breeds

  • Zhang, Tao (School of Bioscience and Engineering, Shaanxi University of Technology) ;
  • Lu, Hongzhao (School of Bioscience and Engineering, Shaanxi University of Technology) ;
  • Chen, Chen (School of Bioscience and Engineering, Shaanxi University of Technology) ;
  • Jiang, Hai (School of Bioscience and Engineering, Shaanxi University of Technology) ;
  • Wu, Sanqiao (School of Bioscience and Engineering, Shaanxi University of Technology)
  • Received : 2011.12.13
  • Accepted : 2012.05.04
  • Published : 2012.07.01


In order to protect the genetic resource of native horse breeds, the genetic diversity of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop of three native horse breeds in western China were investigated. Forty-three 600 bp mtDNA D-loop sequences were analyzed by PCR and sequencing techniques, 33 unique haplotypes with 70 polymorphic sites were detected in these horses, which account for 11.67% of 600 bp sequence analyzed, showing the abundant genetic diversity of the three native horse breeds in western China. The Neighbour-Joining (NJ) phylogenetic tree based on 247 bp of 43 D-loop sequences demonstrated the presence of seven major lineages (A to G), indicating that the three native horse breeds in western China originated from multiple maternal origins. Consistent with the front, the NJ phylogenetic tree based on 600 bp of mtDNA D-loop sequences of 43 Chinese western native horses and 81 sequences of six horse breeds from GenBank indicated that the three horse breeds had distributed into the seven major lineages (A to G). The structure of the phylogenic tree is often blurred because the variation in a short segment of the mitochondrial genome is often accompanied by high levels of recurrent mutations. Consequently, longer D-loop sequences are helpful in achieving a higher level of molecular resolution in horses.


Chinese Western Native Horses;Mitochondrial DNA D-loop;Genetic Diversity;Maternal Origin


Supported by : Education Department of Shaanxi Province


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