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Horse Genome Project


International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop
The 8th Dorothy Russell Havemeyer Foundation International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop took place near Newmarket, UK from July 22 to 25, 2009...[more]

Writers at the Louisville Courier Journal recently won the 2008 Media Eclipse Award for journalism based on an article about Thoroughbred racing and break-downs. They published a 3 part story, including genetics, track surfaces and medications. In connection with the genetics section they interviewed several members of the Horse Genome Project. See the accompanying links for the full stories on the 2008 Media Eclipse Award and the article itself.

Courier-Journal Web site wins award for horse project
Genetics may hold key to Injury-prone horses
[December 2008]

The first draft of the horse genome sequence was recently completed and deposited...
[JAVMA News, April 2007]

Data on Equine Genome Freely Available to Researchers Worldwide
[NIH News, February 2007]

The first genome map of a horse is complete, providing scientists with new tools for investigating equine disease. [ April 2006]



photo of those attending the workshop

The 8th Dorothy Russell Havemeyer Foundation International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop took place at the Ickworth Hotel near Newmarket, UK from July 22 to 25, 2009.  Hosts and organizers for the meeting were Mark Vaudin and June Swinburne of the Animal Health Trust at Newmarket.  Scientists had been previously invited to submit abstracts describing their work in the field and subsequently invitations were made on the basis of likely contributions to the meeting.   Scientists were encouraged to present unpublished data at the meeting and therefore, the specific abstracts and specific information cannot be shared at this time.   However, much of the work will appear in press in the near future and the information can be discussed here in a broad sense. 

The core aspect of the meeting was the application of the newly developed whole genome sequence to investigate health problems among horses.   The workshop was divided into 5 sections:  Experiences with Association Studies as applied to human disease, Equine Genome Sequence and SNP Chip Development,  Genome Wide Association Studies in Horses, Gene Expression and Mapping Genes in Candidate Regions. 

Within those sections, presentations ranged from studies of developmental bone diseases to immune response genes, from analyses of equine transcriptomes to studies of circadian rhythms in gene expression to discovery of coat color genes to changes in gene expression due to pathological changes in tissues.  There were 24 oral presentations and 16 posters presented.  The  common theme was the importance of obtaining sufficient samples, appropriately characterized phenotypes and wedding tests of statistical association to tests of gene expression. 

There were three discussion periods dispersed throughout the session on the topics of needs for actions and resources as well as what are the next steps that we might envision.   The following points were clear:

  1.        Many studies have been very successful and need to be reported.

  2.       In some cases, studies have not been as successful and likely require the creation of new, more dense SNP chips or gene expression arrays.  However, significant funds have already been spent to develop the current tools so it is necessary to report what has been discovered with the current tests before, or in concert, with making the case for development of new tools.

  3.       Very effective studies have been those which used data from both association studies and gene expression studies.

  4.       Some diseases are under investigation by several groups and there is the opportunity to collaborate on the definition of phenotypes as well pooling of data to obtain larger sets for analyses. 

The workshop was regarded as very successful for the open sharing of new information, ideas and problems.  Although the whole genome sequence for the horse has been completed, the workshop continues to be useful in determining and developing its best use as a research tool. 

running horses

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