The Debao pony (Equus caballus) is the most important local variety of domestic horses, and is strictly protected by the Chinese government. Their average adult withers height is 94.42 ± 3.76 cm for males and 98.35 ± 4.55 cm for females, respectively. In the present study, the complete sequence of the Debao pony mitochondrial genome was determined (GenBank Accession No. EU939445), and was found to be similar to other equine mitochondrial genomes. However, there were 85 nucleotide substitutions in the 13 protein-coding genes; the percentage of substitution was 0.8 ± 0.1. Polymorphisms of mtDNA control regions were analyzed with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), and 19 haplotypes were found, with a genetic diversity of 0.77. Neighbor-Joining (NJ) and Minimum Evolution (ME) trees based on complete control regions of mtDNA were constructed with the Maximum Composite Likelihood (MCL) method. The analysis indicated that the origins of the Debao pony were scattered in the various branches of the phylogenetic tree. The results from the present study suggest that the Debao pony is derived from multi-matrilineal origins of the species.
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Acknowledgments We thank Fred Bogott, M.D. and Ph.D., for his excellent English editing of the manuscript. We also thank the staffs of the Fishery, Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau of Debao Country of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, P.R. China, for their kind assistance in collecting blood samples of the Debao ponies. This study was supported by the Science Foundation of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region (0640014 and 0992028-9).
- Debao pony
- Mitochondrial genome
- Phylogenetic tree