ISSN 1644-0714 e-ISSN 2300-6145

Zootechnica

Research Article

Genetic and phenotypic characteristics of Polish Konik horses maintained in the reserve and stable system in Central-Eastern Poland

Michał Pluta, Zbigniew Osiński, Angelika Cieśla, Ryszard Kolstrung

1Departament of Horse Breeding and Use, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland;2Department of Hygiene of Animal Feedingstuffs, National Veterinary Research Institute, Partyzantow Avenue 57, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland;3Unit of Horse Breeding and Animal Assited Therapy, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Doktora Judyma 12, 71-466 Szczecin, Poland

Abstract. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of genetic diversity on the features like breeding, performance parameters and adaptation to living in natural habitat resulting from the particular degree of consanguinity to primitive horses of the Polish Konik breed. Selected features were also evaluated with the reference to chosen breeding lines as an indication of the effect of breeding progress during a long period of time. Additionally, the assessment of interaction between environmental and genetic factors was made. The study involved 257 Polish Konik horses (two herds), inhabiting in the breeding centre, where the conditions similar to natural for population of primitive horses originally inhabited Europe were provided. During the conducted study the statistically significant effect of the degree of consanguinity on chest circumference and the greatest dispersion of point-scale estimation ("bonitation") results of horses with higher inbreeding coefficient degree F ≥ 15% was shown. We indicated that the value of F = 15% is in fact a limit, from which the negative impact of homozygosity on the traits associated with the phenotype of primitive horse breed, the Polish Konik, starts to increase. As shown in the analysis of breeding lines, in the long term to maintain the appropriate breed traits associated with the body structure increased heterozygisity is more privileged.

Keywords: ancestral inbreeding, impact of homozygosity, primitive horses, Polish Konik horses

Accepted: 03 Jun 2016

Published online: 24 Apr 2017

Full-text article

How to cite:

Pluta, M., Osiński, Z., Cieśla, A., Kolstrung, R. (2016). Genetic and phenotypic characteristics of Polish Konik horses maintained in the reserve and stable system in Central-Eastern Poland. Acta Sci. Pol. Zootechnica, 15(2), 59‒76. DOI:10.21005/asp.2016.15.2.06