The world of equine genomics is just getting started, and Victory Genomics is leading the way with the first whole genome sequencing test for horses.
Human medicine is so far ahead of the veterinary front when it comes to genomics and this is both saddening and encouraging.
It is saddening because there are so many questions to be answered and whole genome testing can be a key component in finding those answers. Human medicine already uses genetics in the diagnosis and prevention of diseases and in selecting the appropriate medication or diets for an individual patient or athlete. Genomics is also encouraging, because it can aid in speeding up the process of discovery for equine genomics.
There are 20,000 genes in the equine genome, but there are still many waiting to be identified in horses. With whole genome sequencing, we will be able to discover more genes faster than ever before, which is an exciting prospect.
Using years and years of genetic research in horses, Victory Genomics has compiled a list of genes already identified in horses. These are all significant discoveries on their own, but when they are combined into one test the value is priceless.
These genes have given us insight into training, speed, endurance, temperament and even injury risk across multiple breeds of horses.
Numerous genetic diseases have been identified through whole genome sequencing, and this type of testing can be used to prevent or even eliminate many of these diseases in horses. Thus, breeding decisions can be made based on test results, which can decrease the risk of diseases being passed on to future generations of horses too.
A thorough analysis of the genome can also reveal the ancestry of any horse, something many horse owners want to know more about.
I look forward to contributing future blogs as we begin to dive deeper into specific genes and future discoveries that are just around the corner.
W. Jared High, D.V.M.