Wild Horse DNA Data base and why its important to support this world intiative I thought I would write an outline of why I support the collection of mane or tail samples from brumbies across Australia. I received an email from a young lady who had bought a horse claimed to be a brumby from a certain area, she had all the verbal information but no physical data other than the Horse. I couldn’t help her at this time, so I went through what the Data base could bring to Australian brumbies in the future. At this stage No you will not get anything for your samples submitted other than knowing you are helping to build a data base so in the future people like the one I mentioned that contacted me will be able to send DNA with the verbal information and a hair sample and the data base will be able to validate if the horse is in fact a brumby from the area advised. The future cannot get any brighter in recording of our Iconic heritage for the future. Imagine being able to validate your Horses Heritage, imagine being able to validate the brumbies in this way and give them a genetic link to the past. Have vision as I do and if you have a Brumby and know the area they came from then take the time to pull hair samples and write all the info you have about the Brumby and send them to Me, I cant do this alone, But we can achieve this together.
BRUMBY DNA ANALYSIS A QUICK SUMMARY Calculation of basic genetic variability measures show that the Brumby have overall similar level of genetic diversity compared to most domestic horse breeds but the measures are general higher than those seen for feral North American populations. Remember we have only submitted 27 samples to date, and these samples are from various locations. From these samples we can be assured of the genetic health. Mean number of Alleles, Effective Alleles are higher when compared to some domestic breeds and the inbreeding coefficient is lower than most domestic breeds and to that of the average feral horse population in the USA. IE..Brumby is genetically diverse and is not inbred. This will change adversely if the brumby population is mis managed. These measures give us information about the Brumby in general but do not give accurate estimates of these parameters because a variety of populations have been sampled. The take home message however, is that genetic diversity in the Brumby as a whole is at healthy levels. Only more detailed analysis will inform us about individual populations. More work to be done, especially on the various brumby locations. Genetic health can only be assured if the brumby is allowed freedom as nature insists. We have not yet made comparisons of genetic similarity of the Brumby to a representative selection of domestic breeds. However, we have compared the group to two populations of horses important to Australia, the Waler and Timor Pony. These results are shown in Figure 1. There is evidence in the mentioned figure 1 of relationships between known Waler populations and the brumby. Sample Waler DNA is mainly from foundation stations in Central Australia, whereas brumby samples mainly came from the High Country. This can be explained by the movement of horses from inland Australia through to the Wodonga sale yards pre WW1. The Timor pony does not indicate any close relationships to the brumby despite evidence of there being many ponies on the Victorian and NSW goldfields. Again the small number of brumby samples (27), so far sampled means more work to be done. We also have made PCA plots of the individual Brumby samples compared to each other. At this point I do not have clear geographic data about exactly where each sample comes from but do have an ID for each location. What the following plot shows is that this group of samples do not form clear clusters based upon the locality where the sample was collected. More data is needed to fully understand the structure of the individual Brumby populations. This tells us that even with the small sample, there is not any evidence thus far that any one population are specific to an area and individuals do not cluster together naturally. Individual horses whilst diverse, do not represent a specific area. What we have shown here is very preliminary data related to genetic diversity of the Brumby in Australia. Much more data is need before any clear picture can emerge and, as well, more information is needed before this type of data can be applied to management strategy developments. Genetic marker data has been extensively used to manage feral populations on public lands in the and it can readily be applied to the Brumby. So, our brumby is more diverse than the North American feral horse population. Successful management programs can be implemented on the Brumby as it has been overseas. We need more brumby samples, specific to each area, for the work to continue in producing a more detailed analysis. E. Gus Cothran, Ph.D. College of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Texas A&M University USA. Doctor Cothran is the worlds foremost scientist in equine genetics. He is in participation with a world wide study into the genetics of the worlds domestic horses as compared to the worlds wild and feral horses. He has helped implement many management programs for the worlds rare and endangered wild and feral horse populations.
How to do A sample of your Brumby Hair
Below is a great little clip to show you how easy sampling is, you can pull either mane or tail hairs, as you will not have a sample document we ask you pop details such as Sex Colour age Origin Area if you have exact location of area thats a great help to. Now pop your sample in a clip lock bag , the less handling you do of the hair the better as the hair ball or root must be intact, Pop it in an envelope and your document with details and post to SCBR PO Box 86 Berrigan NSW 2712