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Expansion of the horsegene database enables stronger collaborations between veterinarians and geneticists

Velie, Brandon; Francois, Liesbeth; Schurink, Anouk; Stinckens, Anneleen; Blott, Sarah; Ducro, Bart; Buys, Nadine; Lindgren, Gabriella


Funded by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme, the Horsegene project united the efforts of multiple European research groups that had been working independently on the genetics of disease in horses for many years. One initiative of the consortium was to better facilitate the sharing of information between researchers through the creation of the Horsegene Database ( The database securely houses unlimited pedigree, phenotype, and genotype data and contains a web-interface that allows consortium members to clearly see what types of genetic (e.g. WGS, RNAseq) and phenotypic information are available. Interest from the global equine genomics community in expanding the use of the database beyond the Horsegene consortium has been strong. Further, equine genomics research is often limited by the ability of geneticists to effectively communicate with practicing veterinarians to attain adequate sample numbers for robust analyses. A new addition to the web-interface is targeted at increasing awareness of current equine genetic research efforts. The contact information of equine geneticists around the world, as well as the details of specific diseases and traits being investigated can now be found under the "Get Involved" option of the web-interface. The tab provides a breakdown of genetic research currently underway in horses and can be publically accessed. In conclusion, we have developed a valuable tool that will help to better facilitate research studies that use genetics and genomics to advance our understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation in horses.

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Plant and Animal Genome XXIV Conference, 2016-01-09--2016-01-13, San Diego, CA