Haplotype diversity in the equine myostatin gene with focus on variants associated with race distance propensity and muscle fiber type proportions

Jessica L. Petersen, Stephanie J. Valberg, James R. Mickelson, Molly E. McCue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two variants in the equine myostatin gene (MSTN), including a T/C SNP in the first intron and a 227-bp SINE insertion in the promoter, are associated with muscle fiber type proportions in the Quarter Horse (QH) and with the prediction of race distance propensity in the Thoroughbred (TB). Genotypes from these loci, along with 18 additional variants surrounding MSTN, were examined in 301 horses of 14 breeds to evaluate haplotype relationships and diversity. The C allele of intron 1 was found in 12 of 14 breeds at a frequency of 0.27; the SINE was observed in five breeds, but common in only the TB and QH (0.73 and 0.48 respectively). Haplotype data suggest the SINE insertion is contemporary to and arose upon a haplotype containing the intron 1 C allele. Gluteal muscle biopsies of TBs showed a significant association of the intron 1 C allele and SINE with a higher proportion of Type 2B and lower proportion of Type 1 fibers. However, in the Belgian horse, in which the SINE is not present, the intron 1 SNP was not associated with fiber type proportions, and evaluation of fiber type proportions across the Belgian, TB and QH breeds shows the significant effect of breed on fiber type proportions is negated when evaluating horses without the SINE variant. These data suggest the SINE, rather than the intron 1 SNP, is driving the observed muscle fiber type characteristics and is the variant targeted by selection for short-distance racing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-835
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal genetics
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • Belgian
  • Quarter Horse
  • Thoroughbred
  • Type 1
  • Type 2B
  • selection
  • speedy gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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