The Sarcidano Horse is a rare breed of semi-feral horse, originally originating from the Altopiano del Sercidano, located in the Oristano Province of Sardinia. It is one of the few native Italian horse breeds. This article focuses on the characteristics of this horse breed and its phylogenetic relationship with Giara horses. In addition, we will talk about the characteristics and genetic variability of Sarcidano horses.
Phylogenetic relationship between Giara and Sarcidano horses
The Giara and Sarcidano horses are two indigenous species of horses in Sardinia, both of which are indigenous to the island. They were most likely first domesticated on the island in the Middle Ages. These ancient horse species are largely solitary and require little human intervention, such as vaccinations and supplemental feeding. As a result, they are well-suited to a harsh environment.
Interestingly, Giara and Sarcidano horses have similar genetic profiles. Both breeds display high variability in maternal lineages but very low in paternal lineages. Using a combination of maternal and paternal inherited DNA, the study suggests that both breeds have a distinct maternal lineage. This may support the idea that the two breeds have common maternal origins.
This study is the first to examine the phylogenetic relationship between Giara and Sarcredano horses. The Giara and Sarcidano horse breeds are isolated on Sardinia due to their low dispersal ability. The genetic structure of these two breeds was studied and compared to 43 Old World breeds. The genetic relationships were evaluated using four types of analyses.
The mtDNA sequences of the two breeds are closely related to each other. Although Giara and Sarcidano share most haplogroups, the Sarcidano is the only breed in Sardia that shares all three haplotypes. In addition, the mtDNA sequences of Giara and Sarcidano horses show distinct haplogroup affiliations, but not their ancestry.
Genetic structure of Sardinian horse breeds
The study was conducted by looking at the different population structures among Sardinian horse breeds. The populations were artificially created by considering various features and included pony breeds as well as local Sardinian breeds like the Monterufolino. This study supports previous findings that the two breeds are closely related. Genetic variation in these populations may be due to the different environmental conditions they live in. To further explore the genetic differences among the different breeds, a genetic survey is required.
Using various molecular markers, the researchers were able to determine the relationship between the three Sardinian horse breeds. They found that the Sarcidano breed is mainly made up of haplogroups I and L but also contained a few less frequent groups. The researchers also analyzed the genetic diversity among ancient breeds, namely the Italian and Sardinian horse breeds.
Among the four breeds, the Giara and Sar-cidano showed the highest levels of molecular diversity. The SAN and MARM breeds showed lower amounts of diversity. Although they were close in length, the ROHs of these two breeds were not identical. Inbreeding coefficients in the Sardinian horse breeds were similar to those of Arab breeds.
In addition, the Mezohegyes mares are the oldest surviving Lipizzan mares. They were developed from eight Lipizzan studs, using strict breeding rules to maintain different genetic reserves. In the meantime, the Monterotondo breeding farm has eleven founding maternal lines. This proves that Lipizzan horses are the oldest living breed in the region. If you’re looking for the best in the Sardinian horse breeds, it’s time to invest in a genetically superior stud.
Characteristics of Sarcidano horses
Giara is a mountainous region in Sardinia, Italy. Giara horses are native to a plateau of 45 square kilometers located between 500 and 600 meters above sea level. Giara horses are classified into three haplogroups: the ancestral, Neapolitan/Oriental, and Thoroughbred waves. The corresponding haplotypes are HT2, HT3, and HT4 (the highest frequency). These alleles are typical of Thoroughbred lineages. Giara and Sarcidano horses are both endemic to the region. They also have an abundance of alleles related to HT3 (the dominant haplotype among all warm-blood breeds in Europe).
These horses have a heavy head and straight profile, large eyes, and a thick mane. Their girths are around 140-160 cm (57.8-62 in) and their cannon circumference is between 13-16 cm (5.1-6.3 in). Sarcidano horses are also very agile, but their quickness is a drawback. They are known to be resistant to injuries.
The Sarcidano horse is a semi-feral breed originating in Oristano province in Sardinia. They have close genetic ancestry to the Andalusian and the Iberian horse, which lived 25,000 years ago. Their unique seventh molar indicates that they have a common heritage with those breeds, and that they are one of the most beautiful horse breeds in the world.
The genetic diversity of Sarcidano breeds was studied in Y-chromosomal DNA of 34 stallions. It was discovered that all three breeds shared at least nine mtDNA haplotypes. One of these haplotypes, HT2 (H2, Y2), is common in Giara and Sarcidano. Another group of Sardinian horses, the Giara, shares a common maternal origin with the Sardinian Anglo-Arab breed. These three genetic markers help in understanding the differences between the breeds.
Sarcidano horses have distinct patterns due to two genes. The SP gene is responsible for producing distinctive spots on the body. Other homozygous Cs animals display roaned edges and are almost white. They may also have pigmentation on their muzzle and ears. Their legs are strong and well-formed. These horses are incredibly comfortable to ride and can be trained to walk and stand on the ground.
Genetic variability of Sarcidano horses
The genetic variability of Sarcidano horses is comparable to that of Giara horses, a breed from the Italian region of Sardinia. The differences are small compared to the variability observed among other breeds of horse in Italy. Genetic relationships between Sarcidano and Giara horses are well documented, and the results of this study are consistent with the known history of the breed. Genetic variation within a single breed has a wide range.
The heterozygous state of the population revealed two-thirds of the variants. These variants included 2,586 SNPs and 303 indels. Twenty-six were located in 14 genes; four were characterized, while the remaining were uncharacterized. Eleven were equine-specific transcripts or olfactory-related genes. However, the genetic variance was not very high in Sarcidano horses, and most of the variants were minor and derived from uncharacterized genes.
In addition to assessing the genetic diversity of Sarcidano horses, researchers have identified genetic variants that are present in all individuals. These findings are helpful in identifying variants responsible for specific phenotypes in equine populations. Further, the improved reference genome will allow the identification of variants causing specific equine diseases. This knowledge will help breeders to identify disease-causing variants and improve the breeding program of the Sarcidano.
Although the evolution of horse breeds in the Italian Peninsula is not yet fully understood, the genetic structure and evolutionary history of Sarcidano and Giara horses has been studied in the region. The study compared the genetic structure and evolution of forty Sarcidano horses from two different isolated areas in Sardinia. This comparative analysis utilized mitochondrial DNA and clustering methods to identify genetic relatedness. However, these results are only indicative of the genetic diversity among Sardinian horse breeds.
This is the first large-scale catalog of horse genetic variation. The report focuses on five-hundred Sarcidano horses. It also includes data on genetic diversity in the general equine population, 10 individual breeds and seven landraces. The report also identifies regions of genomic variation that are common in breeds and have been studied by WGS. Genetic variability in this breed is highly variable, but there are some differences between the two.