Study: Arabian DNA Reveals Diversity, Other Breed Influences (The Horse)

Study: Arabian DNA Reveals Diversity, Other Breed Influences

Fraught with a paradoxical mix of praise and heavy criticism, the historically revered Arabian horse breed is considered “pure” as often as it’s considered “inbred.” But a new and far-reaching genomic study has revealed that, except for rare individual horses, Arabians are neither.

On the contrary, the Arabian breed is, for the most part, “genetically healthy,” with significant diversity in its genes, both in its homeland regions of the Middle East as well as abroad, said study author Samantha A. Brooks, Ph.D., of the Department of Animal Science in the Genetics Institute at the University of Florida.

Plus, some sire lines aren’t nearly as pure as their breeders might think, she said. Their genomes reveal significant interbreeding, primarily with the Thoroughbred.

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