Allelic and genotypic frequencies of the DMRT3 gene in the Brazilian horse breed Mangalarga Marchador and their association with types of gait
The DMRT3 gene has been described as the main gene influencing gait in horses; however, most studies have examined its effects by comparing information from trotted and gaited individuals. Within the Brazilian Mangalarga Marchador breed, animals can present two types of gaits (marcha batida and marcha picada), which differ in the movement form – diagonal (marcha batida) or lateral (marcha picada). We examined a possible association of the g.22999655C>A DMRT3 SNP with the type of gait, in this two-gaits breed. The relationship between individuals was calculated for the two phenotypic groups, as well as the inbreeding coefficient and its trend over generations. The allelic and genotypic frequencies were estimated based on genotype data from 310 horses (205 marcha batida; 105 marcha picada).Two threshold models were used to determine the proportion of phenotypic variance explained by DMRT3 genotypes. The average coancestry for animals with marcha batida was 0.04 ± 0.00, whereas in marcha picada it was 0.05 ± 0.01 (higher than the population mean of 0.04 ± 0.00). The inbreeding coefficient was 1.71% and 3.48% for marcha batida and marcha picada animals, respectively. Effects of the DMRT3 gene ranged from 9.94 to 10.77% (as a proportion of phenotypic variance) when included as an uncorrelated random effect and as a covariable, respectively. The genotypic frequencies of the DMRT3 and the patterns of kinship and inbreeding could be a result of selection in this breed, resulting in statistical confusion between the DMRT3 effects and population structure.