Genetic structure and phylogenetic relationships of the Polish Heavy Hors
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In this study a wide range of genetic markers (12 microsatellites, 7 blood-group loci, 10 blood-protein loci) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) were used to assess genetic diversity in Polish Heavy horses. Three random samples were sequenced for 421 bp of the mitochondrial D-loop region, but no clear phylogenetic patterns were seen in mtDNA variation. Both heterozygosity and diversity levels are fairly high in Polish Heavy horses. In phylogenetic analysis the draught horses form a distinct cluster that pairs with the true pony breeds. Within this 'cold-blooded' group, the Polish Heavy Horse clusters most closely with the Posavina breed from Croatia and the Breton breed from France. From the standpoint of genetic conservation, the Polish Heavy Horse does not appear to be in jeopardy.
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E. Iwanczyk, Horse Genetic Markers Laboratory, August Cieszkowski Agricultural University of Poznan, Wolynska 33, 60?637 Poznan, Poland