Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012
Time: 3:50 PM
Time: 3:50 PM
Room: Royal Palm Salon 5-6
Cribbing or crib-biting in horses has been described as a stereotypic erratic behavior. It is generally believed that cribbing develops as a means to cope with stress or is learnt from other horses. Owners often find this behavior disturbing and it has been suggested to be a risk factor for specific types of colic and gastric ulcers. Besides well documented environmental factors, there is evidence that the genetic background also plays an important role in the development of the behavioral vice. Several studies have indicated the influence of heritable factors on cribbing to be higher than for any other repetitive behavior in the horse. We applied a whole-genome SNP association mapping approach using a total of 162 horses, representing three different breeds. The horse DNA samples were genotyped with the equine Illumina 50k SNP genotyping microarray. Genotyping results were analyzed within and across breeds. Several independent loci, albeit usually not significant at a genome-wide level, were identified for each of the breeds. Interestingly, in two of the breeds, one common locus with genome wide significance was identified and confirmed with fine structure mapping. This region contains a candidate gene involved in cell-cell adhesion and differentiation of the nervous system that is probably linked to the development of obsessive-compulsive behavior in dogs.