Genetic characteristics of feral Misaki horses based on polymorphisms of microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA.
The Misaki horse is a Japanese native horse, known as the "feral horse of Cape Toi". In this study, we acquired the genetic information to establish their studbook, and analyzed their genetic characteristics for conservation. We genotyped 32 microsatellites and a mitochondrial D-loop region in 77 Misaki horses (80.2% of the population). The average number of alleles, observed heterozygosity, and expected heterozygosity were 3.4, 0.509, and 0.497, respectively. A neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree of individuals was constructed. Moreover, the results suggested that Misaki horses experienced a bottleneck, but it was neither severe nor recent. In addition, three mitochondrial haplotypes were confirmed. Consequently, we clarified the genetic background of Misaki horses that have been resident at Cape Toi for a long time.