Dam-line Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Study

In the 1990s, Dr. Ann Bowling and her associates at the University of California, Davis, established the usefulness of a segment of mitochondrial DNA mtDNA to characterize dam-line haplotypes. The mtDNA is passed from mother to daughter to granddaughter (and so on) with infrequent mutation. This technology allows us to resolve some historic questions about dam-line relatedness, but, more significantly, it provides insight into the diversity of today’s horses by identifying the number of unique mares that have female-line descendants.

Dr. Bowling’s untimely demise interrupted this study, which has now been taken up by the Institute as the first step in its genetic diversity study.

Prior Study Results

The original study covered 34 mare lines. Results showed there were 27 different haplotypes. The study covered the most common lines in the US stud book as well as some “rare” lines. Of the 34 lines studied, 16 have descendants in Desert Arabians in North America (two additional Desert Arabian lines have been studied since the original Bowling research). Each new haplotype is assigned a sequence number (A01, A02, etc.). These numbers are for identification only.

The Davenport imports Urfah and Wadduda, the Blunt mare Rodania, and the Egyptian mares Roga el Beda and  Venus all have the same haplotype. The Blunt mare Basilisk and the Davenport mare Reshan also share the same haplotype. The other lines are unique.

Below are the 18 Desert Arabian dam lines for which the haplotypes have previously been identified (information in parenthesis shows the importer and/or source and breeding location)

Abeyah (Davenport)  A02

Basilisk (Blunt)  A03

El Dahma: Obeya branch (Ali Pasha Sherif/Egypt) A12

Ferida (Blunt)  A10

Ghazieh* (Abbas Pasha/Egypt)  A11

Hadba (Davenport)  A17

Haidee (Sandeman)  A24

Jellabiet Feysul*: Ghazala branch (Abbas Pasha/Egypt)  A23

Nejdme (Hamidie)  A20

Queen of Sheba (Blunt/Egypt)  A08

Reshan (Davenport )  A03

Rodania (Blunt/Egypt)  A01

Roga El Beda:Wanisa branch (Ali Pasha Sherif/Egypt)  A01

Selma (Abbas Pasha/Egypt)  A05

Urfah (Davenport)  A01/A06**

Venus (Khedive Abbas II/Egypt)  A01

Wadduda (Davenport)  A01

Werdi (Davenport)  A22

* The Bint Yamama horses previously identified as tracing to Jellabiet Feysul were found to descend from the line of Ghazieh, thus affirming information from Lady Anne Blunt.

** The two haplotypes for Urfah are different at one protein site.

Current study:

Samples for the following lines were collected by the Institute and are being evaluated at the University of California, Davis. The Institute is indebted to the many breeders who provided samples for this study. Results will be posted here when available.

Al Hamdaniah (Conolly/Saudi)

Badria (Inshass/Egypt)

Bedowia El Hamdani (Richards/Saudi)

Bint Barakat (Hamza/Egypt)

Bint El Behreyn (Khedive Abbas II/Egypt)

Bint Karima (Inshass/Egypt)

El Dahma: Nadra El Kebira branch*

El Kahila (Inshass/Egypt)

El Sammraa (Inshass/Egypt)

El Shahbaa (Inshass/Egypt)


Folla/Fulla (Hamza/Egypt)

Futna (Hamza,Egypt)

Gamila Manial: Doga branch (Prince Mohammed Ali/Egypt)

Halwaaji (Roach/Saudi)

Hind (Inshass/Egypt)

Kariban (Ayerza)

Mabrouka (Inshass/Egypt)

Mahraa (Ames/Saudi)

Nafaa (Inshass/Egypt)

Nufoud (Harris/Saudi)

Roga El Beda: El Bataa branch*

Rudann (Roach/Saudi)

Samirah (Harris/Saudi)

Sawannah (Kelly/Bahrain)

Sindidah (Cobb/Saudi)

Turfa (Saudi)

Venus: Bint Shaams branch*

*  Sample from different branch of a dam line previously studied

**  Although she has no tail-female descendants in Desert Arabians, she is being sampled because of her impact on Desert Arabian breeding