NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Researchers led by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have completed an initial draft of the horse genome, researchers affiliated with the Horse Genome Sequencing Project said today.
The HGSP said it has completed a 6.8X coverage of the horse’s roughly 2.7 billion base pairs and have made the data freely available on several online resources.
The HGSP also generated a map of genetic variations found in the genome using DNA samples from old and new breeds such as Andalusians, Arabians, Standardbreds, and Thoroughbreds.
The map is built from 1 million SNPs that the HGSP expects scientists to use for considering physical contributions from breed to breed and to assess disease susceptibility.
The sequencing began in 2006 and is a component of the Horse Genome Project, which is a 10-year collaboration with German researchers. It is funded with $15 million from the National Human Genome Research Institute.
The HGSP also said the horse’s genome could be of value when compared with the human’s. It said it plans to publish an analysis of the horse genome that will offer more information about their findings at a future date.
The sample for the study was taken from the blood of a Thoroughbred mare named Twilight.