Working together to gain knowledge: Generatio and IAFH support horse breeding
There is currently much discussion among horse breeders and owners about the group of hereditary muscle diseases known as PSSM2. The need for more data on the frequency and severity of these mutations in different breed populations is clear. Generatio GmbH – Center for Animal Genetics, the exclusive European patent holder of the EquiSeq PSSM2 variants, has therefore established a unique cooperation with the International Association of Future Horse Breeding (IAFH) to test horses of Holstein, Trakehner, Oldenburg, Oldenburg Springpferd, and Westphalian populations.
The basis of the collaboration is the newly developed high-throughput method developed by the IAFH for the purpose of genomic selection. Due to Generatio supporting the inclusion of the PSSM2 variants on the consortium version of a new SNP array, these can be analysed at the same time. Owners can request the release of the data through the respective member associations and the IAFH and vit (IT Solutions for Animal Production, Verden, Germany) can release the PSSM2 results on behalf of Generatio.
Breeders can order the PSSM2 variants for an initial price of 160 EUR (net). This price is made possible through a generous subsidy from Generatio and is intended to encourage breeders and horse owners to test their foals and breeding animals so that the data can be gathered for scientific purposes. For routine PSSM2 testing of samples which will not be included in the scientific evaluations at vit, samples will still be submitted directly to Generatio.
“Within the IAFH, it was and is important to us to make the best possible use of the opportunities offered by modern laboratory analytics,” says IAFH Scientific Coordinator, Dr. Kathrin Stock of IAFH shareholder vit. “This creates an excellent starting position for the scientific work on the questions we face around PSSM2. No one is pushing breeders to test, rather we are inviting them to contribute to the increase in knowledge by providing more data,” said Dr. Stock, summarizing the position of the partners IAFH and Generatio GmbH.
Generatio Managing Director Dr. Eberhard Manz agrees, “Working with the IAFH and its affiliated breeding associations enables the collection of extensive population data and helps breeders test animals that they might not otherwise prioritize for testing. Through this important collaboration we are investing in the future of healthy and successful horses and are pleased to be able to support breeders with their breeding goals.”