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Good Morning Everyone,

In the age of DNA technology, what strain names have been corrected, officially? I am aware of the Kuhaylan Jellabi being corrected as Seqlawi Jedran Ibn Sudan via the family of *MAAROUFA. Are there any others?

Thanking you all for your input. biggrin.gif

Kind Regards,

Liz Dieter
Kimberli Nelson
Recently we did a mtDNA test on the SO SE Hadbans. I showed that Venus and Rodania were the same line.
Dear Liz and Kimberly

it still puzzles me how one can detect a strain through DNA. What is the explanation? How can a layman with DNa verify?

Hansi biggrin.gif
Sernity Arabian Farms
Simply put, a strain cannot be proven but a relationship can be demonstrated, like paternity testing in humans.....(just an example)
Thus Kimberly said that they are of the same line.......thus related...
Kimberly what do you mean Venus and rodania are the same line please?
Rodania is a Kuhaylah and Venus a Hadbah

Please explain
Kimberli Nelson
Hansi, you don't actually identify the strain, you identify a marker. The marker is either the same as other horses or different. In the case of Venus, it was found that she had the same marker as Rodania so both mares have a common ancestor on the tailfemale line.

I know there is more to this than what I have stated but this is how I understand it.

WOW! Interesting news. Who or where would one go to have a test like this done on a mare line to see what it is?
Kimberli Nelson
I was asked if I would be willing to participate in a mtDNA test to see if the Venus Egyptians and the Hadba Davenports were related. Of course I was VERY interested. I sent two samples of hair to Michael Bowling and Anita sent two samples of Davenport hair for testing.

The results were very interesting. Venus and Hadba were NOT related, not by a long shot. Even though they were preported to be from the same tribe, the same location and about 10 years apart. Venus and Rodania AND Wadduda share the same common ancestor and are the same tail-female.

The Davenport Hadbans were very much un-related to Venus and Rodania.
Kimberli Nelson
Here is the article that was published by the Desert Institute of the Arabian Horse in the Al Majlis News - Volume 4 Number 2 - Spring/Summer 2007.

Science and Strains – A New Mystery

One sure way to stimulate a conversation
among conservation breeders is to raise the
subject of strains. Since the late 1990s, any
such conversations have been influenced by
research into mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA),
which is passed along the maternal line and
serves as a marker for tracing matrilinear
descent. Research by Dr. Anne Bowling, A. Del
Valle, and Michael Bowling contributed
significantly to this discussion with their
publication in 2000 of the haplotypes of material
from 34 source mares represented in Arabian
breeding (1). A recent addition to that research
presents a new mystery for breeders.
At the time of publication, several findings were
of interest to breeders of Desert Arabian
horses. Material from two females lines
descending from Bint Yamama (granddaughters
Roda and Mahroussa) matched material from
the line descending from Ghazieh (through Bint
Helwa) rather than the line from Jellabiet Feysul
(results from lines of granddaughters Hazna,
Gulnare, and Jamila). This supports the
connection of the Bint Yamama horses to the
dam of Mesaoud, a conclusion reached from
records of Lady Anne Blunt (2) by several
researchers (3 and 4), and has caused many
breeders to ascribe the strain Saqlawi Jidran to
the Bint Yamama horses.
A second finding was that material from the
lines Domow and *Wadduda shared the same
haplotype. Because there is a coat-color
incompatability of Domow (bay) with her
registered parents (both chestnut), researchers
have postulated that Domow’s registration could
have been somehow switched with another foal.
The haplotype for Domow and *Wadduda was
different from the other possible mare lines
(dams of the other foals), thus supporting the
record of *Wadduda as dam of Domow (3).
While the 2000 publication offered scientific
insight into these historic questions, it raised
new questions. One surprise was the discovery
that material from recorded descendents of
*Urfah showed different haplotypes, leading to
the later-developed hypothesis that identities of
*Urfah’s daughter Saleefy and the mare Freda
(descended from Hamadie imports) were
inadvertently reversed after both bay mares
were transported to a new owner in Southern
California (5).
Another was that the dam lines of different
reported strains showed the same haplotypes.
For example, the *Reshan line (Koheilan Haifi)
showed the same haplotype as Basilisk
(Saqlawi Jidran). *Wadduda (Saqlawi Al Abd)
showed the same haplotype as Rodania
(Koheilan Rodan).
Now a new piece has been added to the puzzle,
and a new mystery lies before us. The 2000
article by Bowling et al reported a distinct
haplotype for the mare line of *Hadba, imported
in 1906 by Homer Davenport, with the recorded
strain Hadban Enzahi. However, no material
from the mare line of the Egyptian mare Venus
(also recorded as Hadban Enzahi) was included
in that study. Breeders of these two lines have
wondered if the two mares, born about 10 years
apart, were related. The Institute was recently
able to obtain samples from two extant
branches of the Venus family, documented
through her great-grandaughters at the RAS,
Bint Rustem and Samiha (6), for testing by the
same laboratory that did the earlier work
(Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, University of
California at Davis). The purpose was to
determine if the two source mares (*Hadba and
Venus) were of the same maternal line.
The laboratory results show that the two
samples submitted in 2007 share the same
haplotype (affirming the maternal relationship of
Bint Rustem and Samiha lines), but it is not the
same haplotype previously reported for *Hadba.
Rather, it is the same haplotype previously
reported for Rodania and *Wadduda. Thus, we
have mtDNA for three well-known desert lines –
Rodania, *Wadduda, and Venus – of three
different recorded strains – Koheilan Rodan,
Saqlawi Al Abd, and Hadban Enzahi – that
share a common maternal-line ancestor.
Some scholars and breeders will find that
the relationship between the Rodania and Hadba
(Venus) lines is consistent with the history of
the Hadban detailed in the shaded box below.
Nothing in the mtDNA findings alters the
horses, or calls into question their quality or
authenticity, or alters the historic record of the
strains of these mares as assigned by their
Bedouin breeders. The story of how these lines
acquired different strain names, given the
conventional western understanding of Bedouin
strain tradition, lies somewhere in the past,
perhaps awaiting further investigation, or
perhaps lost in the sands of time.
(1) A. T. Bowling, A. Del Valle, and M. Bowling,
“A Pedigree-based Study of Mitochondrial Dloop
DNA Sequence Variation among Arabian
Horses,” Animal Genetics, 31 (2000): 1-7.
(2) Rosemary Archer and James Fleming, ed.,
Lady Anne Blunt, Journals & Correspondence
1878-1917, 1986, p. 333.
(3) Michael Bowling, “What’s In A Name?
Counting Doves a Century After They Hatch,”
Arabian Visions, 15: 2 (October 1998); reprinted
in Khamsat, 22: 1 (2005). Available on-line at
(4) Kees Mol, “A Note on Bint Yamama,” in:
The Arabian Horse Families of Egypt 1979-
1987, 1995, pp. xi-xiv (also cited in Judith
Forbis, Authentic Arabian Bloodstock II, 2003,
pp. 310-316). See also Joan L. Schleicher, “Out
of the Mists: Tracing the Taproots of Heirloom,”
in: John W. Fippen, et al, Heirloom Egyptian
Arabian Horses, 1840-2000, 2004, pp. 45, 57-
62; and “Kafifan,” in: Heirloom…, p. 499.
(5) Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy,
“What is a Davenport Arabian Horse?” http://
(6) Royal Agricultural Society (Dr. Abdel Alim
Ashoub, ed.), History of the Royal Agricultural
Society’s Stud of Authentic Arabian Horses,
1948, pp. 63-64.
(7) Gülson Sherif and Judith Forbis, The Abbas
Pasha Manuscript, 1993.

Shabat al Mani' of al Suwayt, and he is advanced in age, and Ali Mani', the son of the
brother of Shabat, who attended the gathering, were questioned in the presence of Sultan
ibn Suwayt and a large number of people.
"Tell us about their origin and what their strain was and from whom they came."
The above-mentioned replied, "Mani' was at the time of Beni Lam, who is from our
grandfathers...and she is Kuhayla om Maarif, and the reason for calling her Hadba at
Mani's was because he had a mare with a profusely long mane which covered her
forehead completely [hadba salifa], and for that reason she was called hadba. And she
passed from Mani' to Nazhi of al Fudul the day they forced them at the hillside of Massel.
And she was blessed at al Nazhi's, and she became hadban Nazhi from al Nazhi.
From al Nazhi her blood spread through the tribes, and we can recognize [claim] them
from the time of our fathers to this day.
And the people who were connected with our fathers and our first white-haired men
have told us and assured us that they are Hadb."
—From The Abbas Pasha Manuscript (7)
An American Breeder
I personally suspect the next thing will be there is only one strain of Arabian horse since probably way, way back whenever all of them descended from one mare.

So? My Jellabi's are far different than my Kuhaylan. I will still keep the strains.

Did not any of you ever suspect this is a marketing ploy as well? No, not you Kimberli or the other lady. If you want to market your horses in a hideous market let's just say they are all from the same family? No such thing as strains? Something to mull over in your brain.
Kimberli Nelson
Liz, nobody said that there were no strains or that there is only one original mare. And no, this was not a marketing ploy. I think that they have identified about 17 or so different haplotypes in the Arabian breed.

The strain naming system used by the Bedouin is not something that we will ever understand. The strains we have today would be totally different if we had not made them static when the West acquired the horses.

Identifying the haplotype and the common ancestor for me, is an indicator of how these horses breed and that is all. I studied the Rodan and the Hadban strains and found that even though they were different strains they bred the same way, unlike the Saklawis and Dahmans. What the testing did for me was re-affirm what I had suspected all along, and that was that the two strains were the same family.
One of the interesting things I picked up
hearing Michael Bowling talk about this subject
is that it is believed that many of the "marker" mares
identified by mtDNA testing may have existed before

This would explain why some findings show
say Rodania and Venus to have the same root
mare in their tail-female.

Fascinating stuff!!

Pete Hiatt
In humans, we have 4 "strains". We broke off from Homo Heidelbergensis almost exactly 200,000 years ago in So or Easten Africa. This is documented by fossil remains (195,000 years) and DNA aging (best left to the experts). We had four different MtDNA "Luci's" and an unknown number of male progenerators. There have been some physical changes in the last 200,000 years. Those who went North at about 75,000 (tough time which lowered our numbers to about 2500 breeding pairs) and 50,000 years when ice ages turned the Saharan desert into Savannah eventually became lighter skinned as the lack of sunlight caused the darker skin types to die off earlier in life as Vitamin D was not well absorbed causing the darker skin types to not form disease fighting agents as well. Colors changed as small groups over wide expenses did not breed to a common group. Blue eyes started at 6000-12,000 years ago. There were other physical changes, but we remain the descendants from four different females. One would think more based upon phenotypical differences we see today.

Time will tell how many horse "Luci's" there were. However, we have seen how differences in small groups/families/farms can change in only a few decades. Although the human made moniker "strain" may have had a beginning within a given tribe for a single great example of that tribe or strain, there is no reason to change it if that mare's line continues to be of a certain phenotype. The common ancester may have been 2000 or 100,000 years ago.

Complicating the picture is how we assign strain names today. The single female ancestor assigns the strain name, but in going back 3 or 5 generations, there may be no other ancestor of that strain making it rather silly to identify a foal as such. Also, calling a horse "pure in the strain" is done if both parents are of a certain strain even though going further back shows a low percentage of that particular strain. On the other hand, if the phenotype matches the strain type, it is a good call. But what if it is a totally different type? I suppose if it is a superb specimen and passes that along, we may have a new famous foundation strain mare in another 100-200 years.
Caryn Rogosky
My understanding is that mtDNA can only show whether or not two (or more) individuals share the same maternal ancestor within a given group. In my opinion this does not alter the current status of strains with regard to the practice of horse breeding. In a post on a different thread, Diane stated that a pedigree is a tool, a listing of names which serves as a sort of index associating an individual with other individuals (paraphrasing here). I agree with this and believe that we, modern Arabian horse breeders, have somewhat miscontrued the inherent value in both pedigree and strain designations.

Strain designations provide an instant but not a foolproof overview of a related group in which particular individuals have been selectively bred for many generations according to a specific criteria. In certain cases, these have evolved into a powerful breeding influence, consistently asserting genetic dominance. This is true regardless of mtDNA findings, and I believe that the issue of the Kuhayla Jellabia and Saqlawi Jedrania strains -- who typically display uniquely different phenotypes, clearly demonstrates this.

Since it is very likely that all Arabian horses go back to the same or closely related Eve genes, it does not surprise me that science would find some inconsistencies between mtDNA and pedigree information (which is very limited relative to the existence of this breed). Knowing that various strains do or do not share the same maternal ancestor according to DNA test results does not change the practical application of strain information.

Recognizing that strains are not and have never been something that science created, I believe that the survival of the distinct strain types as we know them today should not be undermined nor abandoned. Today more than ever, there is a very real need to secure the strain tool for the future, as one means of maintaining traditional, authentic and wonderful diversity within the Arabian breed.
Caryn Rogosky
What about the 5 mares of war that were each deemed a name!!!
They simply could have all been sisters or cousins or maybe just 3 were maternal sisters??? And maybe one was not a purebred?? Was there a purebred?
Maybe any that do not share the same mternal lineage are not true purebreds???
Or maybe the ones that share the same strands are not the purebreds??
I would like anything with Polka 2 tested thru dam lineage!
I think we may be on to something!
Kimberli Nelson
I must respectfully disagree with Caryn with regard to how the Kuhayla Jellabia and Saqlawi Jedrania strains breed. For many years I was somewhat confused by the Jellabia as I found that when the horses was bred within the same family, a different phenotype came forth. That type was more like the Saklawi horses of the Ghazaiah tail-female line as they became more refined with a longer neck and back and the legs became longer.

When Jassir went to Poland he was listed as a Saklawi Jedran and when Maaroufa and Fadl came to America they were listed as Kuhaylan Jellabi. It is interesting that horses from the same family suddenly became two completely different strains.

I choose not to believe in the “Romance of the Jellabia” that has been passed down by Forbis and Schimanski as the facts do not add up to warrant it.
Pete Hiatt
Some genetic information can be "timed" to determine the approximate "date" that it manifested. This is true for red hair in humans and blue eyes both of which manifested about 10,000 years ago, give or take. I don't know if MtDNA can be timed this way or if they simpy have not tried with it yet in this specific case of horse strains..

The point is that the common ancestral dam to Saqlawi and Kuhaylan (for example) if there is a common dam, may have been a thousand years ago or 100,000 years ago.

It really does NOT MATTER if there was a common mare or not. Somewhere along the line, two very different types emerged and both were highly regarded and likely bred either in separate groups or for the preferred type look and two distinct looking types were recognised. Giving them separate names is both logical and helpful. Again, that they may have a common ancestral dam is meaningless, in this regard. Interesting, but meaningless.

As for "The Five" (Al Khamsa), various Bedu tribes consider various different strains to be "The Five" likely according to their preferences. Some may have been sisters, hard to know. We were not there. Some things one takes on faith.
An American Breeder
QUOTE (Kimberli Nelson @ Jul 1 2008, 05:37 PM)
snipped -  For many years I was somewhat confused by the Jellabia as I found that when the horses was bred within the same family, a different phenotype came forth. That type was more like the Saklawi horses of the Ghazaiah tail-female line as they became more refined with a longer neck and back and the legs became longer.


On that part I tend to agree since I have in my small group TWO that are bred in the strain Jellabia and one that was not bred in the strain, sire and dam.
Caryn Rogosky
There are many examples of what we may think of as the Saqlawi Jedran prototype which, when bred within the same family, continue to breed a very distinct look...especially when selectively bred under the same eye. The same is true for the Kahaylan strain, and in fact, all strains. Clearly, the strain types have been further distinguished by sub-types within a strain. More than any other factor, I find that the eye of the breeder over a period of multiple generations distinguishes a "kind", whether we call it strain or not. There is a significant difference, for example, between the typical straight Babson horse which was bred by Walter Schimanski and that bred by Nelson Ruiz. Same blood, same ancestors, but from individuals taken from the Babson farm at different times and cultivated via selective breeding over many generations under different eyes/preferences -- size was one distinct difference that comes to mind immediately. Interestingly, I found that the Babson horses bred by Nelson Ruiz reminded me of some of the great Pritzlaff horses -- and as it turned out, Mr. Ruiz expressed a strong admiration for these. Mr. Schimanski, on the other hand, had a different vision of the ideal Egyptian Arabian. It was very entertaining to hear the two men "debate" their opposing viewpoints. So interesting that they had different perspectives and yet used the same blood lines to fulfill these. But thats what keeps it all interesting and allows for the continuation of diversity within a relatively small genepool.
Nadj al Nur
Caryn, I totally agree, and this is why it amazes me when people confuse strain with type. There are multiple types within the same strain, simply because different breeders have a different idea of what they want their horses to look like, and accomplish this by selecting the most appropriate individuals to support their vision.My Abbeyans are a different TYPE than those of Dr. Nagel, even though my original mare came from his stock, and different also from the Magidaa line, even though I have incorporated that line, but they are still Abbeyans...........
It doesn't surprise me that Wadduda, Rodania, and Venus are of the same family. I think mtDNA, since it's unchanging from generation to generation (through females) is something very interesting to study. I follow a TB group, and they've been really starting to do a lot of research on the effects that mtDNA may have on individuals. I wonder if it's possible to test descendants of the "Vera" mares, and learn their tf lines. That could be interesting to know. Some of them produced very similarly, and a few didn't. I suspect their are 2 or 3 lines, maybe even 4.
Nadj al Nur
I think the VERA mares would be an extremely interesting study........something I would like to see the results from, as well.
A.T. Bowling, A Del Valle, M Bowling
A pedigree-based study of mitochondrial d-loop DNA sequence variation among Arabian horses
Animal Genetics, 2000, 31, 1-7

click on image to enlarge it
Pete Hiatt
More DNA background info

We have now identified the complete Genetic code of a Thoroughbred mare. Should be interesting as this is studied more.

The first evidence of horse domestication has been identified at 5600 years. This is expected to go back further especially in the Ukraine/West Russian area.

Horses developed in North America starting about 55 million years ago. Horses, Zebras, and camels existed in North America until about 10,000 years ago during the last ice age when a comet hit and resulted in numerous North American extinctions.

Horses have not undergone the kind of physical changes as domesticated dogs and cattle. I guess perfect is as perfect does.
What is so exciting is not only have researchers completed sequencing the horse genome (I think the mare who contributed the DNA is named Twilight), but researchers have also produced a map of horse genetic variation, using DNA samples from several breeds, including the Arabian. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) used to create this map provide a great new tool for helping researchers who are working on identifying the genetic factors involved in inherited diseases and disorders.

This is a big breakthrough for how the researchers can go about doing this research and will be a big push forward for advancing this type of research...bringing tests for things lilke LFS and CA closer and closer to reality.


Caryn Rogosky
To throw another interesting element into the genetic discovery pot, there is the situation of people who are known as Chimeras. These are seemingly perfectly normal humans who have two different sets of genetic material within them, and their DNA will test differently depending upon what part of the body the sample is taken from. This condition occurs inutero with a pregancy which starts out as fraternal twins. Early on, one twin fetus completely aborbs the other twin...including its entire set of DNA. Genetically speaking, Chimeras are two people within one. I've often wondered why that couldn't happen with other animals as well, I should think that most likely it does. While this would not effect mtDNA specifically, it certainly could effect proof of identity for the purpose of registrtion which is based upon bloodtyping or even DNA testing.
Hi Caryn,

Chimerism occurs in other species as well - in fact, some of the brindled coated animals will be chimeras.

Caryn Rogosky
Beth said,
"This is a big breakthrough for how the researchers can go about doing this research and will be a big push forward for advancing this type of research...bringing tests for things lilke LFS and CA closer and closer to reality."

It truly is a big breakthrough with untold possible advantages for breeding in the future.

So funny you mentionned the SBE and the two visions of these men, Schimanski and Ruiz, I saw examples of their own breeding programs and own horses with these two programs. What strikes me most when seeing them was exactly what you described: they had different visions of how to breed the same lines and the result is REALLY different.

I LOVE the Almoraima blood, my mare Fa Daahlina is an Almoraima Neblina daughter who was an Ibn Saafaddan daughter, hehe!! We get to the point, he was bred by W.Schimanski! Both used the Bint Saada and Bint Bint Durra blood...and both had chosen not to follow the program at the Babson Farm, breeding stock very different in type from the "original" Babson farm look.

I really appreciate all the breeders who ha dthe opportunity and genuis to breed stock apart from the Babson farm and creat their own Babson lines, that is why SBE are so interesting to study and breed! This is how 6 originals horses had created a unique bloodline with such diversity, amazing...

I try to use as much as possible different SBE programs to create mines, I have collected Almoraima blood, Rudalaro, Schimanski, BAHF, Princeton...

regarding the DNA experiments, I believe we cannot identify the timing of the matching point(when the ancestors have matched)...It is a very interesting subject and should be a primordial point in the future of Asil breeders.
That is a great way to put it and it really supports the idea of strain breeding and explains it in a reasonable and practical way.
Pam Studebaker
Caryn Rogosky
"Chimerism occurs in other species as well - in fact, some of the brindled coated animals will be chimeras."

Thank you Beth! As I thought...after all, why would it not occur in other species? I know that Chimerism has roots in ancient mythology, and while it was not understood from a scientific perspective, it would appear that this condition has has always been with us. Opens up a huge bag of possiblites in terms of how we consider of the many mysteries of inheritance --
QUOTE (AAArabians @ Jul 1 2008, 05:21 PM)
What about the 5 mares of war that were each deemed a name!!!!

The 5 mares are only a myth...'khamsa' also means colloquially "a handful", as in a loose way of saying 'several', without being specific about numbers.

In view of the perpetually circulating rumours about the use of 'other' horses by Lady Wentworth, it would be useful (if expensive biggrin.gif ) to compare the DNA of Crabbet horses descended from Wentworth-breds from the 1930s onwards with that of other horses originating from earlier in Crabbet history, but which have formed other breeding groups. If Hanstead still existed, for example, we would have a perfect control group to compare with.

BTW, there are several known equine chimeras - including an Icelandic with a coat pattern like a tortoiseshell cat!

In 1998, Ann Bowling, A. Del Valle, and Michael Bowling published research into the maternal lines of horses, using a particular segment of the mitochondrial DNA that is passed from mother to daughter. At the time, science was establishing the reliability of using certain segments of DNA to do genetics relatedness testing.

They further expanded that research and published another paper in 2000.

In total, they identified 27 different "haplotypes" - where the proteins in the segment of the DNA differ from sample to sample. They assigned each haplotype a sequential number (A1-A27 - the numbers are just for identification - they don't otherwise mean anything). It is estimated that the AHA studbook has about 100 dam-lines, but the 27 they identified cover an estimated 89% of the dam lines in production.

The research also showed how many differences there were between the samples. There are 31 "base sites" in the sequence that they use.

Some lines differed by only one "base." In humans, changes at a base site are estimated to occur once every 6,000 years, although a change at one base was "interpreted as representing alternative fixations of past heteroplasmy" and the data do not exist (to my knowledge) to determine the frequency of changes in the equine genome.

This is the study that established that *Maaroufa and Bint Helwa shared the same female ancestor. This doesn't mean that one strain designation is "right" and another is "wrong." The strain tradition is the Bedouins.

Similarly, the research showed that Rodania and *Wadduda shared the same female ancestor. Again, no judgment on strains, only scientific evidence that they shared a tail-female ancestor.

Kimberli is correct, when we did the Venus line, we found the haplotype matched the Rodania/Wadduda one, not the one for the Davenport mare *Hadba. They differed by 7 base sites. Again, NO judgment on strains. But different enough that any commonality of ancestress was way, way, way into prehistoric time.

An example of a close relation: El Dahma (the SE ancestress) and Milordka (foaled in Poland in 1816) differered at only one base site.

Anyone who wants a copy of the Bowling paper is welcome to one. Just send me a PM with your snail mail, but I warn you, it is heavy scientific reading.

flying hooves
It is my understandign that MtDNA makes no timeline, therefore as has been mentioned, the "common ancestral female" could have been 10,000 yrs ago.

Evidence of the domesticated Arabian and Bedouin strain names does not date back that far or am I wrong?

No strains change, that would be like saying ok I have a female relative noted via MtDNA, from a different continent maybe even race, therefore my family name can't be what it is.

Each tribe chose its own herd and refined it to their liking, giving us our modern day strains. To say for example Ibn Abdul's horses were called Saklawi but MtDNA says half have an ancestor linking Ibn Omar's horses called Hadban so they must be Hadban not Saklawi.

In simple terms isnt a strain name a family name? or tribal herd name?

Hmmmm maybe if Hansi's horses and Ansata's horses are linked via MtDNA in 200 yrs they should say they couldn't have been from different breeders. ph34r.gif

laugh.gif Lisa
If the term "strains" is being defined as the names of certain families given to them by the Bedouin tribes, then the MtDNA, to me is a separate matter. the DNA tells us the science of which females trace to which root female. It does not create strain names. The Bedouin tribes do. There are a number of examples where the strain name of a particular female line may have changed among tribes at some point in the past, because their culture allows it. I can cite one from my personal experience. When we were with the elders of the Shammar tribe in 1996 they discussed the origins of 18 of their female lines. When it came to the discussion of their particular Rabda line, they said that this particular family of their was originally from a Muniqiyah Sbaili mare who was very noble and a great war mare. She had a white marking on her forehead distinctive from the others which resembled a particular feather, colloquially termed Rabda. She was deemed so important as to require her own family. Thus she became Rabda.

Now, as for the Babson Kuhaylan Jallabiyah's becoming over time more "Saqlawi" or stretchy like, for a moment ignore the strains completely and study the conformation of the mares Bint Saada, Bint Serra and Bint Durra. Compare their longer stretchier lines including high withers, long forearms, etc., with the structural features of Maaroufa, Bint Bint Sabbah and Fadl. In general you have two groups here, the stretchier, and the more compact, rounded types. Over time it was a tug of war, but often a blend of these influences in Babson, sometimes more stretchy sometimes more compact and sometimes both. The repeated use of Ibn Fa Serr from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s (intensely Bint Serra) on Fa Serr and Fay El Dine (x Bint Serra) daughters and granddaughters, who go to Maaroufa in tail female, moves away from repeating only Maaroufa. So then does her traditionally designated Kuhaylah strain move further back and the percentage of Bint Serra increases. I often thought that the old Fay El Dine daughters that were grey out of the Bint Bint Sabbah female line (not the Maaroufa line) were more like the Saqlawi Jidran Egyptians of the Ghazala, Bint Helwa, Zaafarana type (these three all being of the same MtDNA as Maaroufa).

As for the romance of the Jallabiah stories told by Walter and Judi in times past, we all loved those stories and they were tied to the true Jallabia, El Argaa who we all thought was the female line of Maaroufa. However El Argaa is the female line of the Blunts bay Yamama, not the Khedives grey Yamama (Yemameh?) So the story still fits, but it applies to Ibn Yashmak, Kazmeyn and Feysul not Maaroufa.
If the term "strains" is being defined as the names of certain families given to them by the Bedouin tribes, then the MtDNA, to me is a separate matter. the DNA tells us the science of which females trace to which root female. It does not create strain names. The Bedouin tribes do.

Well said, Joe - good to see you here! smile.gif

The DNA only shows a biological relationship between individuals - the humans involved determine the "classification" for breed or strain or other category.

QUOTE (JoeFerriss @ Jul 2 2008, 10:31 AM)

Excellent, well said, Joe. Names are names, including strains. However great the desire, strain names are not genetically evolved or aligned.
But no matter what strain a horse is, it's mtDNA is the same exactly as it's root ancestor, all the way back on it's female time. It's unchanging, so, while their are many different possible ways for the horses to be bred, and many different ways they will look, it's interesting to think that the mtDNA of some horses is the same... My colt, Fadjur, Rushan, and Om El Jimala for instance, all carry the same mtDNA this means. Fascinating stuff to read about whilst enjoying the modern benefits of central air, and refusing to go outside smile.gif
QUOTE (phanilah @ Jul 2 2008, 10:40 AM)
The DNA only shows a biological relationship between individuals - the humans involved determine the "classification" for breed or strain or other category.

Beth, in this sense, my thoughts are that strain as used above and strain names can not be read in the same context. Essentially, there will be commonalities with related individuals but the Arabian Horse strain names as we know them are names. Just as Joe has explained along with Edouard Aldahdah in his materials. The Arabian Horse strain names are a naming system - just like we have surnames or family names. The names don't prevent us from being related to other surnames; whether or not they are the same. And as such, as illustrated by Joe (above), can be changed (by those who can). Biological tests can't prove strain names because, simply, they are names ie strain names of Arabian Horses are not biological indicators.

It is a good thing that the strain names remained static once the Arabian Horse breed was embraced by the west. Its all part of the history of the Arabian Horse relative to their nomadic Bedouin creators.

smile.gif my thoughts.
True Chimeras are exceedingly rare in most animal species, so of little concern wrt inappropriate registration/DNA testing.
We are all "chimeras" or "mosaics" due to the differential expression of genes in stem cells in utero: this is the way brindle is due to chimerism.
A classic example is tortoiseshell cats who have a patchwork of coat color, orange and black, depending whether the paternal or maternal x chromosome is expressed in the clump of cells in utero that turned into the coat in the adult.

The term chimera was borrowed from a mythological beast (with the [variously] head of a lion, the body of a snake and a tail of a goat ), but not because ancient peoples recognised individuals as genetic chimeras. It is artistic license on the part of geneticists.

Any individual which was a chimera would still have the mother (and thus the same tail female) so is irrelevent to the discussion of mitochondrial DNA.

Mitochondria were likely originally another organism which formed a symbiotic relationship with eukaryotic cells: they "burn" fuel and oxygen to provide energy, the host provides them with a home. They have their own genome and are passed on only form mother to child.
Mitochondrial DNA is relatively ancient and slow to evolve (partly because it can't be repaired if its damaged by sexual recombination). As a result they are difficult to use as a genetic clock, especially over shorter periods.

They only give information about the maternal line, thus their information is useful, especially for the study of strains/maternal families, but also limited, because it ignores the influence of paternal genes, which will tend to be more varied and mobile because new stallions can be introduced from other herds or tribes.

The study of mitochondrial DNA clearly demonstrates what you would expect to find in pedigrees: errors based on the various infallabilities inherent in human nature (wishful thinking, uncertaintly, inability to watch your horses 24 hours a day, inaccurace recollection, not writing things down, changing facts to suite your beliefs etc). Even based on horses with relatively well authenticated pedigrees, many horses were not of the breeding believed or stated on the maternal side. You can imagine how much less accurate the paternal side of the pedigree would be! Its an excellent reminder not to be too precious about purity or pedigree.
Hi Diane,

I don't think I've posted anything to disagree with that. A biological relationship simply shows that "x" is or is not biologically related to "y". In the case of mtDNA it works with the tail female line. In the case of nuclear DNA, it works with the sire and dam and other relatives. The people decide if "x" is a member of a certain strain...the DNA doesn't do that.

kay cochran
To get a true picture of the genetic codes we also need the male line of inheritance. It's all very interesting to know the historic link of our Arabs. But, knowing that ,it will have no effect whatsoever on my current breeding program. My sister and brother took part in the National Geographic DNA testing and it is very interesting. It helps pinpoint the ancient origin of man and this DNA helps pinpoint the ancient origin of the Arab . Maybe it will prove how ancient the Arab breed really is. I did find out my mtDNA is in the Haplogroup H. I really think the domestic horse is much older than originally thought.
Although chimeras certainly are rare, the AQHA has had at least a couple of instances of confusion with chimeras at registration time. I know of one case where remarkably, the foal didn't qualify to either the sire or the dam, and it was the result of BOTH parents being chimeras. REALLY strange case.

To get a true picture of the genetic codes we also need the male line of inheritance

Agreed and hopefully, the researchers will be successful in their hunt.

QUOTE (phanilah @ Jul 2 2008, 04:22 AM)
Agreed and hopefully, the researchers will be successful in their hunt.


This is already available via the Y chromosome
There has been some work done already on TBs which indicates that 95% of all male Thoroughbreds trace their direct male line (via the Y chromosome) to the Darley Arabian.

The y chromosome is a stunted wasted shadow of the X though, and theres no much on there that doesn't relate to male sexual function. You may have heard that the Y chromosome is on its way to becoming extinct, becoming smaller over time! As a result, theres not much "fat" which can evolve randomly and thus serve as an evolutionary clock, so its not much use for following recent equine pedigree relationships. But it does provide sire line information.
Sorry for my lack of clarity. While the Y chromosome has been mapped, it doesn't contain a lot of genetic material and it is limited in inheritance to males only. Researchers are working on locating a male version of inheritance that can be used to trace tail male line, in the way mtDNA is used to trace the tail female line.

Pete Hiatt
The article that pegged the domestication age of 5600 years also agreed that it was likely older. They didn't use metal halter or bits then and hard evidence is difficult to find because it is absorbed into the ocean of time. We do know that agriculture and a sedentary lifestyle is at least 8000 years old. A nomadic lifestyle utilizing horses is likely older than that. Modern non-archaic man left Africa and was well distributed as far as China about 40,000 years ago. Any time between then and 5600 years ago could have been a good time to domesticate horses. Paleontologists once thought that there was a change in the brain allowing the advancement of present man 40,000-50,000 years ago. This corresponded with the concept of religeon and artwork and jewelry...deep concepts or trinkets without a use being seen as a sign of advanced brain. However, we have since discovered a snake religeon of about 75,000 years and jewelry of 115,000-130,000 years which turns the clock further back. As a horrible volcanic eruption in South Asia caused a brief but horrible ice age about 75,000 years ago resulting in the near extinction of humans, the fact is only about 2500 breeding pairs of humans left at that time might certainly explain why advancements did not occur sooner. A significant increase in numbers as well as migration to the rest of the world started at 50,000 years ago when a smaller ice age allowed the escape from Africa over the Saharan GRASSLANDS and the gradual population of the world. Likely man had the same mental capabilities then as now. Some Bubba told his mead drinking buddies, "Watch this! I'm gonna ride that thing!" A few broken Bubbas later, somebody did. Horses, zebras, and camels originated in the New World and followed the land bridge to Asia then Africa, but I don't know in which ice age that occurred. Glad it did, though.
Yes, Phanilah. Because of the small size of the Y chromosome, its hard to find enough markers to trace relationships within the domestic horse species, much less within and between breeds.
Markers have been found which differentiate species such as zebras, donkey, Przewalski's Horse and others, but all these markers the same in all horses so far tested, of all breeds

As the authors of this study point out, this also reflects the high mobility of stallions and their progeny, relative to mares. As with the Darley Arabian in TBs, a superior (or just popular) male line can quickly dominate, as the male produce so many more offspring than the female. If another breeder wanted to utilise this superior (or popular) stallions offspring, they can easily use him themselves, or their next choice is generally his male offspring (because they can produce so many more offspring than females. The Y chromosome can thus be leveraged harder than the X chromosome, even though both are indispensible.
Pete Hiatt
We can trace the male line, but it requires regular DNA which is more fragile than MtDNA which can be obtained from hair rather than the root of the hair or other DNA source. So older DNA is harder to obtain. Just shows how we guys are really more sensitive than you girls think. rolleyes.gif
I enjoy this article about equine evolution and the fossil record. Its somewhat dated and not up with the latest genetic advances, but it shows the incredible complexity of prehistoric equine evolution. I should point out that the article is written to highlight the importance of fossil equids as an example of evolution in action, and thus also discusses evolution/creationism.
This article sets the scene for the vast story of equine evolution very nicely by showing how groups seperate, specialise, change over time to suit their surroundings, die out through no fault of their own. This article sort of fits before most of the evolution we think of with respect to breeds, but I think it really is enlightening reading in the context of purity, strains and strain vs type etc.

Wikipedia has a simpler and more attractive summary, with more detail on recent history

and this site has some nice fossils and pictures of the evolving foot of 3 and 1 toed equids
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