Genome-wide SNP analysis of Japanese Thoroughbred racehorses

Jeffrey A. Fawcett, Fumio Sato, Takahiro Sakamoto, Watal M. Iwasaki, Teruaki Tozaki, Hideki Innan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The domestication process of plants and animals typically involves intense inbreeding and directional selection for various traits. Here, we genotyped 370 Japanese Thoroughbred horses using the recently developed 670k SNP array and performed various genome-wide analysis also using genotype data of other horse breeds. We identified a number of regions showing interesting patterns of polymorphisms. For instance, the region containing the MC1R locus associated with chestnut coat color may have been targeted by selection for a different mutation much earlier on than the recent selection for chestnut color. We also identified regions that show signatures of selection specific to Thoroughbreds. In addition, we found that intense inbreeding early in the history of the Thoroughbred breed and also before the formation of the breed has a significant impact on the genomic architecture of modern Thoroughbreds. Our study demonstrates that the horse 670k array can be utilized to gain important insight into the domestication process of horses and to understand the genetic basis of the phenotypic diversity in horses.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0218407
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 1


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