Molecular characterization and differentiation of five horse breeds raised in Algeria using polymorphic microsatellite markers
In this study, genetic analyses of diversity and differentiation were performed on five horse breeds raised in Algeria (Barb, Arab-Barb, Arabian, Thoroughbred and French Trotter). All microsatellite markers were highly polymorphic in all the breeds. A total of 123 alleles from 14 microsatellite loci were detected in 201 horses. The average number of alleles per locus was the highest in the Arab-Barb horses (7.86) and lowest in the thoroughbred breed (5.71), whereas the observed and expected heterozygosities per breed ranged from 0.71 (Thoroughbred) to 0.752 (Barb) and 0.71 (Thoroughbred) to 0.77 (Arab-Barb), respectively. The genetic differentiation between the breeds was significant (p < 0.01) based on the infinitesimal model (FST). Three different approaches for evaluating the genetic relationships were applied. Genetic distances, the factorial correspondence analysis and structure analysis showed that a significant amount of genetic variation is maintained in the native horse populations and the other breeds. The Barb and Arab-Barb breeds seem to be the most genetically related and support the decision to consider the breeds as same population.