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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 542945, 11 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Horse Myostatin Gene and Identification of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Breeds of Different Morphological Types

1DIPROVAL, Sezione di Allevamenti Zootecnici, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bologna, 42123 Reggio Emilia, Italy
2DIMORFIPA, Sezione di Zootecnia, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bologna, 40064 Ozzano Emilia, Italy
3Department of Human and General Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy

Received 3 August 2009; Revised 20 February 2010; Accepted 27 April 2010

Academic Editor: Peter Dovc

Copyright © 2010 Stefania Dall'Olio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Myostatin (MSTN) is a negative modulator of muscle mass. We characterized the horse (Equus caballus) MSTN gene and identified and analysed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in breeds of different morphological types. Sequencing of coding, untranslated, intronic, and regulatory regions of MSTN gene in 12 horses from 10 breeds revealed seven SNPs: two in the promoter, four in intron 1, and one in intron 2. The SNPs of the promoter (GQ183900:g.26T > C and GQ183900:g.156T > C, the latter located within a conserved TATA-box like motif) were screened in 396 horses from 16 breeds. The g.26C and the g.156C alleles presented higher frequency in heavy (brachymorphic type) than in light breeds (dolichomorphic type such as Italian Trotter breed). The significant difference of allele frequencies for the SNPs at the promoter and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) on haplotypes indicates that these polymorphisms could be associated with variability of morphology traits in horse breeds.