Biochemical polymorphism in relation to performance in horses. Academic Article uri icon


  • Investigations on relationships between biochemical polymorphism and variation in quantitative traits are of interest from the perspectives of both theoretical quantitative genetics and practical animal breeding. This subject was studied by using racing performance records of more than 25,000 horses of the Swedish Trotter breed born in the period 1970-1979. For all horses data on six blood group and nine electrophoretic loci were available. Two different performance traits were investigated. A racing performance index value was calculated for all individuals which had started in at least five races. Horses which had not started at all or less than five times were pooled in an unstarted class and the proportion of started horses was analysed as an all-or-none trait. The relationships between the marker genes and these two performance traits were analysed statistically by using linear models. Analysis within sires revealed a very highly significant association between variation at the serum esterase locus (Es) and the proportion of started horses. In addition, four weakly significant associations were found. A striking feature of the highly significant association involving the esterase locus was that the effect of different alleles showed a good fit to an additive genetic model as the value of each heterozygous type was intermediate to the two corresponding homozygotes. In addition to the association tests, the possibility of genetic linkage between marker genes and genes affecting performance was tested as well as the influence on performance of heterozygosity at marker loci. No significant relationships were revealed in these latter tests.

published proceedings

  • Theor Appl Genet

author list (cited authors)

  • Andersson, L., Arnason, T., & Sandberg, K.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Andersson, L||Arnason, T||Sandberg, K

publication date

  • January 1987