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Inheritance of equine sarcoid disease in Franches-Montagnes horses

Christen, Garance, Gerber, Vinzenz, Dolf, Gaudenz, Burger, Dominique, Koch, Christoph
The veterinary journal 2014 v.199 no.1 pp. 68-71
alleles, antigens, breeding value, heritability, horses, inheritance (genetics), leukocytes, major genes, models, phenotype, questionnaires, sarcoid
The mode of inheritance for susceptibility to equine sarcoid disease (ES) remains unknown. The objectives of this study were to analyse a large sample of the Franches-Montagnes (FM) horse population and investigate the heritability and mode of inheritance for susceptibility to ES. Horses were clinically examined for the presence of sarcoid tumours. A standardized examination protocol and client questionnaire were used and a pedigree- and subsequent segregation-analysis for the ES trait performed. To investigate the mode of inheritance, five models were evaluated and compared in a hierarchical way.The analyses reveal that variation in susceptibility to ES is best explained by a model incorporating polygenic variation. The possible effect of a major gene, such as specific equine leukocyte antigen alleles, is unlikely, but cannot be ruled-out entirely. The heritability of the phenotype on the observation scale for the trait ‘affected with ES’ was estimated to be 8%. A corrected value for the heritability on a liability scale was estimated at 21% and it is therefore possible to estimate breeding values for ES. The arguments against the practical implementation of an estimated breeding value in a multifactorial condition like ES are discussed.