October 26, 2010 – Genetic Analysis

During last year’s gather, hair samples were taken from many of the gathered horses. DNA was extracted from the hair samples so that an analysis of the current herd’s genetics could be done. The report for this analysis was recently made available, and it can be read by clicking here or on the above image.

Published in: on October 26, 2010 at 11:05 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks Matt. I tried to understand all this. Read it three times and still didn’t grasp much. Obviously meant for someone with more than high school biology.

    I’d like to know more about the “family tree”. That looks really interesting.

  2. Hi Matt,
    That is good to know the gene pool is staying relatively the same. It also drives home the importance of not letting the herd numbers get too low and not introducing “domestic” blood.
    Thanks for all you do to keep us in the loop!

  3. Thank you for posting this interesting paper. I wonder what Dr. Cothren feels about the use of PZP on these horses.

    Read recently that 100% of the mares (in another herd in another state) that are turned back onto the range by BLM from a recent gather will be PZP’d.

    • Hello,
      It’s hard to say his specific thoughts. However, the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics recently published their research on this topic for the Assateague Island wild horses. The abstract for this paper can be found here: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2193/2009-231. I personally always think about the effects the alternatives would have on the genetics of the herd and then decide which I think has the best end result.

  4. The above mentioned abstract seems to me to be a pretty straightforward assessment of reality facing “wild” animals in a very civilized [populated]world.

    There is a very interesting article about the history of the horse on the North American continent, and the world, in the Volume 7, #1, Fall 2009 issue of the Houston History Magazine, published by the Center for Public History in the History Dept. of the University of Houston. It is written by Callie Heacock and Ernesto Valdez, and is entitled “The Spanish Mustang and The Long Way Home”. It’s a VERY GOOD READ.

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