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Genetic Research Reveals the Consequences of the Domestication of Horses

February 2015 by Sophie Barrington, Horses and People Magazine

A new study, led by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with researchers from 11 international universities, has revealed a significant part of the genetic variation in modern domesticated horses may be attributed to interbreeding with the descendants of a now extinct wild horse population. 

This wild horse population was distinct from the only surviving wild horse in the modern world, the Przewalski. Through whole genome sequencing of modern and ancient horses, the study has revealed the genes that have been selected by humans in the process of domestication over the last 5,500 years. However, this research has also revealed the real consequences of this domestication.