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Single nucleotide polymorphisms for DNA typing in the domestic horse

Animal Genetics journal cover
Carpenter ML, Bustamante CD, et al
Animal Genetics


Genetic markers are important resources for individual identification and parentage assessment. Although short tandem repeats (STRs) have been the traditional DNA marker, technological advances have led to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) becoming an attractive alternative. SNPs can be highly multiplexed and automatically scored, which allows for easier standardization and sharing among laboratories. Equine parentage is currently assessed using STRs. We obtained a publicly available SNP dataset of 729 horses representing 32 diverse breeds. A proposed set of 101 SNPs was analyzed for DNA typing suitability. The overall minor allele frequency of the panel was 0.376 (range 0.304-0.419), with per breed probability of identities ranging from 5.6 × 10-35 to 1.86 × 10-42 . When one parent was available, exclusion probabilities ranged from 0.9998 to 0.999996, although when both parents were available, all breeds had exclusion probabilities greater than 0.9999999. A set of 388 horses from 35 breeds was genotyped to evaluate marker performance on known families. The set included 107 parent-offspring pairs and 101 full trios. No horses shared identical genotypes across all markers, indicating that the selected set was sufficient for individual identification. All pairwise comparisons were classified using ISAG rules, with one or two excluding markers considered an accepted parent-offspring pair, two or three excluding markers considered doubtful and four or more excluding markers rejecting parentage. The panel had an overall accuracy of 99.9% for identifying true parent-offspring pairs. Our developed marker set is both present on current generation SNP chips and can be highly multiplexed in standalone panels and thus is a promising resource for SNP-based DNA typing.