Comparison of Thoroughbred and Arabian horses using RAPD markers

E. Bailey, T. L. Lear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We compared pools of DNA from 10 Thoroughbred horses and 10 Arabian horses for the presence of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers which might be useful in distinguishing between the breeds. Using 212 decamer oligonucleotides and our polymerase chain reaction (PCR) conditions, 173 of the primers produced scoreable bands. The number of bands ranged from 0 to 9 with an average of 3·6. In family studies using 11 arbitrarily selected primers, five of the 11 primers produced polymorphic bands which exhibited Mendelian inheritance as dominant markers. When comparing the pooled DNA from Thoroughbred and Arabian horses we found 10 primers which identified markers present in the pooled DNA from one breed but absent in the pool from the other breed. Testing individual horses revealed that only two markers were wholly absent for one group while being present among members of the other. Primer UBC‐85 (5′‐GTGCTCGTGC‐3′) detected a pair of markers absent in Thoroughbred horses but present among 11 of 31 Arabian horses. These markers were 1500 and 1700 base pairs (bp) long and designated UBC‐85C and UBC‐85D, respectively. Primer UBC‐126 (5′‐CTTTCGTGCT‐3′) detected a 1000 bp marker (designated UBC‐126C) absent in 20 of 20 Thoroughbred horses but present in 31 of 31 Arabian horses. UBC‐126C would be particularly effective for breed comparisons, especially if the DNA band were cloned, sequenced and an allelic marker present in Thoroughbred horses but rare or absent among Arabian horses was identified. The distribution of such markers among other horse breeds might be useful to infer relationships among breeds. These kinds of markers may also be useful in detecting unwanted crossbreeding between two horse breeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number1 S
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • PCR
  • RAPD
  • breed comparison
  • horse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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