Y-Chromosomal Insights into Breeding History and Sire Line Genealogies of Arabian Horses

Viktoria Remer, Elif Bozlak, Sabine Felkel, Lara Radovic, Doris Rigler, Gertrud Grilz-Seger, Monika Stefaniuk-Szmukier, Monika Bugno-Poniewierska, Samantha Brooks, Donald C. Miller, Douglas F. Antczak, Raheleh Sadeghi, Gus Cothran, Rytis Juras, Anas M. Khanshour, Stefan Rieder, Maria C. Penedo, Gudrun Waiditschka, Liliya Kalinkova, Valery V. KalashnikovAlexander M. Zaitsev, Saria Almarzook, Monika Reißmann, Gudrun A. Brockmann, Gottfried Brem, Barbara Wallner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Y chromosome is a valuable genetic marker for studying the origin and influence of paternal lineages in populations. In this study, we conducted Y-chromosomal lineage-tracing in Arabian horses. First, we resolved a Y haplotype phylogeny based on the next generation sequencing data of 157 males from several breeds. Y-chromosomal haplotypes specific for Arabian horses were inferred by genotyping a collection of 145 males representing most Arabian sire lines that are active around the globe. These lines formed three discrete haplogroups, and the same haplogroups were detected in Arabian populations native to the Middle East. The Arabian haplotypes were clearly distinct from the ones detected in Akhal Tekes, Turkoman horses, and the progeny of two Thoroughbred foundation sires. However, a haplotype introduced into the English Thoroughbred by the stallion Byerley Turk (1680), was shared among Arabians, Turkomans, and Akhal Tekes, which opens a discussion about the historic connections between Oriental horse types. Furthermore, we genetically traced Arabian sire line breeding in the Western World over the past 200 years. This confirmed a strong selection for relatively few male lineages and uncovered incongruences to written pedigree records. Overall, we demonstrate how fine-scaled Y-analysis contributes to a better understanding of the historical development of horse breeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number229
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Arabian horse
  • Foundation sire
  • Genotyping
  • Haplotype
  • Horse breeding
  • Male genealogy
  • Paternal lineage tracing
  • Pedigree
  • Y chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Y-Chromosomal Insights into Breeding History and Sire Line Genealogies of Arabian Horses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this