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Genetic diversity of the Hungarian draft horse assessed by mitochondrial DNA
Published October 24, 2016

Hungarian draft is a horse breed with a recent mixed ancestry. It was developed in the 1920s by crossing local mares with draught horses imported from France and Belgium. To genetically characterize the breed and to set up the basis for a conservation programme, we have employed a molecular marker: a 256-bp D-loop mitochondrial DNA fragment. We... analyzed 124 horses representing Hungarian draft horses to assess the maternal phylogeography of the breed. Sequence analysis of a 256-bp segment revealed a total of 34 haplotypes with thirty-four polymorphic sites. High haplotype and nucleotide diversity values (Hd=0.953±0.001; π=0.024±0.001) were detected. The average number of pairwise differences were k=5.998. This breed counts 800 mares today, and only survive due to breeding programmes, this way each haplotype frequency depends on the extent to which mares are involved into the breeding. The reduced number of surviving maternal lineages emphasizes the importance of establishing a conservation plan for this endangered breed. Due to the revealed 34 polymorphic sites we could presuppose twelve maternal linages, which could be a first step for making a breeding programme.

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Lack of polymorphism of the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) gene among four different brown hare (Lepus europaeus Pallas 1778) populations
Published October 24, 2016

The brown hare (Lepus europaeus Pallas 1778) is a common palearctic and a popular game species therefore it has been an obvious subject for population genetic studies since the second part of the 20th century. Among the several mitochondrial DNA studies some have been carried out concerning nuclear genes as well. The agouti signaling... protein gene (ASIP) is involved in regulating the synthesis of eumelanin and pheomelanin in melanocytes of mammals. Though many studies focused on it in relation with several mammalian species, minimal information is available on this topic concerning the brown hare.

Here we present a short communication concerning the agouti signaling protein (ASIP) gene in four different country’s L. europaeus populations, namely Lithuania, Hungary, Serbia and Georgia. N=45 tissue samples have been investigated from overall 17 sampling sites of the different countries. There has not been found any polymorphism among the sequences. In an alignment with other Leporid species’ partial ASIP sequences downloaded from ENA we have found that based on a 178 base pairs long DNA sequence the haplotype of our samples contains three other Lepus species as well. This is concordant with the findings of a previous study focusing predominantly on the European rabbit (Orycto lagus cuniculus Linnaeus 1758) and the several mutations of its ASIP gene.

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