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A lost Sorraia maternal lineage found in the Lusitano horse breed

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A common female founder individual of the Portuguese horse breeds Sorraia and Lusitano was found while conducting research on the variation of the Lusitano mitochondrial DNA lineages in relation to studbook information. We obtained 416-bp control region sequences from 16 descendents of a female Sorraia founder (Pomba) still represented in the living population of the Lusitano, according to the most recent edition of this breed's studbook. The same haplotype was found for all analysed samples and belongs to the haplogroup described by several authors as having predominantly Iberian, South American and North African haplotypes bringing new insights on the relationship between the Sorraia and the other Iberian breeds. This work illustrates how weak the boundary of breed establishment can be, especially at the same geographical region. Using the same founders in different breeds is surely one of the explanations to frequently shared haplotypes among recent breeds, resulting in a lack of consistency between mtDNA sequences and breeds and/or geographical regions.
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Keywords: D-loop; Lusitano horse; Sorraia horse; maternal lineage; mitochondrial DNA

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências, Departamento de Biologia Animal, Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Lisboa, Portugal 2: Serviço Nacional Coudélico, Coudelaria de Alter, Alter do Chao, Portugal 3: Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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