The Icelandic Horse Features in Nature Study Skip to content

The Icelandic Horse Features in Nature Study

The Icelandic horse features in a study published in Nature this week. According to the study’s findings, a single gene mutation in horses can result in them having a wider range of gaits. The gene was reportedly discovered in the Icelandic horse, known for its ability to perform two additional gaits.

horses-winter_ipaPhoto Copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.

Horses usually have three styles of gait—walk, trot and gallop. But some breeds, including some Icelandic horses, have additional gaits such as the pace and tölt.

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden studied the genomes of 70 horses that had a wider range of gaits. The study found that a single mutation, in a gene called DMRT3, was common to all horses that could pace as its regulation of movement is more flexible.

The finding is thought to offer clues behind movement disorders in humans as walking difficulty is a common symptom of many neuromuscular disorders.

ZR

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