Colombian paso horse's gaits explained by DMRT3 gene

Tinuku - The Colombian paso horse, the most important horse breed in Colombia, performs specific and particular gaits - paso fino, trocha, and Colombian trot -, which display different footfall patterns and stride frequencies.

The breed has been selected for gait and conformation for more than 50 years. Miguel Novoa-Bravo of the Genética Animal de Colombia Ltda in Bogotá and colleagues hypothesize that this selection has led to kinematic differences of the gaits that can be explained by different genetic variants. The team reported to PloS ONE.

Tinuku Colombian paso horse's gaits explained by DMRT3 gene

The researchers make case to identify if there are any differences in the kinematic and genetic variants between the Colombian paso horse’s gaits, to evaluate if and how much the gait differences were explained by the nonsense mutation in the DMRT3 gene and to evaluate these results for selecting and controlling the horses gait performance.

“To test our hypotheses, kinematic data, microsatellites and DMRT3 genotypes for 187 Colombian paso horses were analyzed. The results indicated that there are significant kinematic and DMRT3 differences between the Colombian paso horse’s gaits, and those parameters can be used partially to select and control the horses gait performance,” Novoa-Bravo says.

However, the DMRT3 gene does not play a major role in controlling the trocha and the Colombian trot gaits. Therefore, modifying genes likely influence these gaits. This study may serve as a foundation for implementing a genetic selection program in the Colombian paso horse and future gene discovery studies for locomotion pattern in horses.