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Complete mitochondrial genome sequences of Korean native horse from Jeju Island: uncovering the spatio-temporal dynamics

Yoon, Sook Hee, Kim, Jaemin, Shin, Donghyun, Cho, Seoae, Kwak, Woori, Lee, Hak-Kyo, Park, Kyoung-Do, Kim, Heebal
Molecular biology reports 2017 v.44 no.2 pp. 233-242
Bayesian theory, breeds, domestication, extinction, genomics, geographical distribution, horses, mitochondrial genome, nucleotide sequences, phylogeny, South Korea
The Korean native horse (Jeju horse) is one of the most important animals in Korean historical, cultural, and economical viewpoints. In the early 1980s, the Jeju horse was close to extinction. The aim of this study is to explore the phylogenomics of Korean native horse focusing on spatio-temporal dynamics. We determined complete mitochondrial genome sequences for the first Korean native (n = 6) and additional Mongolian (n = 2) horses. Those sequences were analyzed together with 143 published ones using Bayesian coalescent approach as well as three different phylogenetic analysis methods, Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, and neighbor-joining methods. The phylogenomic trees revealed that the Korean native horses had multiple origins and clustered together with some horses from four European and one Middle Eastern breeds. Our phylogenomic analyses also supported that there was no apparent association between breed or geographic location and the evolution of global horses. Time of the most recent common ancestor of the Korean native horse was approximately 13,200–63,200 years, which was much younger than 0.696 My of modern horses. Additionally, our results showed that all global horse lineages including Korean native horse existed prior to their domestication events occurred in about 6000–10,000 years ago. This is the first study on phylogenomics of the Korean native horse focusing on spatio-temporal dynamics. Our findings increase our understanding of the domestication history of the Korean native horses, and could provide useful information for horse conservation projects as well as for horse genomics, emergence, and the geographical distribution.