IAFH: No value in genomic reproduction for health, but black on demand

Where KWPN has had genome breeding value for health for years (and will come up with genome breeding values ​​for athletic characteristics next year), the German organization IAFH (International Association of Future Equine Breeding) wants to do something different to allow breeders to use the technology. Namely: Black upon request.

“Modern biotechnology enables us to provide breeders with important information – the building blocks that can help raise better, healthier horses,” said Wolfgang Schulz-Schlepingof, President of the International Association for the Breeding of Future Horses (IAFH).

black on request

A great example of applying the new procedure in practice is determining the color of a pony’s coat. Because this is pretty predictable – provided you know more about your parents than you used to until nowIAFH writes.

There are genes that determine whether a horse is born as chestnut, and others that determine whether a foal is brown or black. If the breeder knows the location of the two primary colors (breasted and tan or black) of the mare and stallion, the foals can be plotted with ‘favorite colour’. Depending on the genetic makeup, a black foal can also be guaranteed when a chestnut mare is mated with a black stallion.

The use of science in horse breeding

But this black color is not the biggest goal of the IAFH. Genome selection is the key word here: Certain characteristics of horses, which have been recorded for several years using linear description, must be given genetic markers in order to be able to better work with them in breeding. The health of horses, in particular the prevention of hereditary diseases, and the ability to better predict desirable characteristics in horse breeding has been and remains fundamental.

Size, genetic defects, and other characteristics

Breeders who are members of one of the IAFH books – currently Oldenburger Verband, Trakehner Verband, Holsteiner Verband and Westfalen – can already benefit from IAFH. Each member breeder of IAFH partner horse books will find a new area in their ZüchterOnline account where certain genetic characteristics such as horse genotype can be viewed (for a fee). More characteristics such as genetic size, genetic disease and genome breeding values ​​for other characteristics will follow, so that these aspects can also be used, the IAFH reports.

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Color is just the beginning

“Since its inception, more than 45,000 horses have been written in writing from the IAFH equine books, and by the end of October this year, nearly 10,000 foals have already been genetically tested with SNPs,” says Dr. “So genetic fingerprinting is already available for this year’s foals, and lab analyzes have been done. But previous years’ mares can also be screened accordingly at any time. Determining the expected color is just one of many possible applications.”

Source: press release

Megan Vasquez

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