First detection of the DMRT3 “Gait Keeper” mutation in horse breeds in Bulgaria

Nadejda Lukanova1, Radostina Stoykova-Grigorova2 and Katerina Stefanova3
1 Agricultural Academy, Institute of Animal Science, Department of Special Branches, 2230 Kostinbrod, Bulgaria
2 Agricultual Academy, Institute of Animal Science, Department of Genetics, breeding, selection, reproduction and biotechnology of farm animals, 2230 Kostinbrod, Bulgaria
3 Agricultural Academy, Agrobioinstitute, Molecular Genetics, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria


Lukanova, N., Stoykova-Grigorova, R. & Stefanova, K. (2021). First detection of the DMRT3 „Gait Keeper” mutation in horse breeds in Bulgaria. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 27 (6), 1233–1237

The present study aimed to identify the genotype and the allele variety of the DMRT3 gene highly linked SNP with the horse breed. It aims as well as to determine the effective alleles, influencing the ability to perform alternate gaits, which causes a favorable effect on the harness racing performance (all that being based on the results discussed). The animals were selected via genotyping based on their breed, gaits, and racing performance. Some of these horses showed good racing performance, so we’ve used their performance traits.
The RFLP analysis was carried out with specific endonuclease DdeI. The whole group of horses was genotyped for SNP (BIEC2_620109) via Sanger sequencing. In the study, the mutation was observed in horses from the following 5 harness breeds (Germany, Italian, Standardbred, French and Bulgarian trotters). In the breeds for a flat race, only the wild type was observed. SNP (BIEC2_620109) is highly linked with the A and C alleles of DMRT3_Ser301STOP mutation, except for only one horse of the Fresian breed. Both groups: young horses of 2 and 3 yo (years old), incl. a qualification test and horses older than 4 yo (years old) /of heterozygous genotype CA showed a better placing. The heterozygous genotypes (CA) have a positive effect on the winning results of the four-year-old ones. The heterozygous genotype (CA) has a negative effect on the qualification and the racing career of the young horses. These results indicate that this polymorphism may be useful for assisted selection for the gait type of the gaited breeds.

Keywords: harness horse; racing performance; gaits; genetic marker; PCR-RFLP

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