2020 Volume 31 Issue 4 Pages 75-83
Gene doping is prohibited in horseracing and equestrian sports. In previous studies, we developed non-targeted transgene and genome editing detection methods based on whole genome resequencing (WGR) using genomic DNA extracted from whole blood. In this study, we aimed to develop a WGR method using DNA extracts from hair roots. Hair roots are a preferred substrate because their collection is less invasive than blood collection. Hair is also easier to store for long periods of time. Although almost all genomic DNA extracted from hair root samples stored for years at room temperature was degraded, the quality of genomic DNA from samples stored for years at refrigerated temperatures (4–8°C) was maintained. High-molecular-weight genomic DNA was isolated from hair roots using a magnetic silica beads method of extraction, enabling WGR from horsehair root extracts. Nucleotide sequencing results and numbers of single-nucleotide polymorphisms and insertions/deletions concurred with those previously reported for WGR of DNA extracted from whole blood. Therefore, we consider that storing hair samples at refrigerated temperatures prevents degradation of DNA, allowing the detection of gene doping in these samples based on WGR. It is likely this finding will also have a deterrent effect, as it is now possible to test horses with archived samples even if they or their parents are deceased. To our knowledge, this is the first report employing WGR on horsehair roots stored for a long term.