Genetic variability in Hanoverian warmblood horses using pedigree analysis1
- H. Hamann and
- O. Distl2
A data set constituting a total of 310,109 Hanoverian warmblood horses was analyzed to ascertain the genetic variability, coefficients of inbreeding, and gene contributions of foreign populations. The reference population contained all Hanoverian horses born from 1980 to 2000. In addition, Hanoverian stallions born from 1980 to 1995 and Hanoverian breeding mares from the birth years 1980 to 1995 with registered foals were analyzed for the same genetic parameters. The average complete generation equivalent was approximately 8.43 for the reference population. The mean coefficient of inbreeding was 1.33, 1.19, and 1.29% for the reference population, stallions, and breeding mares, respectively. The effective number of founders was largest in stallions (364.3) and smallest in the reference population (244.9). The ratio between the effective number of founders and the effective number of ancestors was 3.15 for the reference population, 3.25 for the stallions, and 3.06 for the breeding mares. The effective population size in the Hanoverian warmblood reference population was 372.34. English Thoroughbreds contributed nearly 35% of the genes to the Hanoverian reference population and even slightly greater contributions (39%) to the stallions. Trakehner and Arab horses contributed approximately 8 and 2.7%, respectively, to the Hanoverian gene pool. The most important male ancestors were Aldermann I from the A/E line, Fling from the F/W line, and Absatz from the Trakehner line, whereas the breeding mare Costane had the greatest contribution to the reference population, stallions, and breeding mares. From 1996 onward, the stallions Weltmeyer and Donnerhall had the largest genetic impact on the Hanoverian horse population.
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