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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech Université Paris-Saclay SAPS - Sciences Animales Paris-Saclay


GABI : Génétique Animale et Biologie IntégrativeUnité Mixte de Recherche INRA - AgroParisTech

BIGE: Equine Integrative Biology and Genetics

INRAE GABI Equine Integrative Biology and Genetics (BIGE) Team
The team’s expertise includes quantitative genetics approach, breeding evaluation of breeding, molecular genetics, functional genomics and integrative biology approaches of muscular exercise.


Research at BIGE covers a large spectrum of skills from clinical studies to genomics and including quantitative genetics, bioinformatics, exercise physiology, functional genomics and molecular biology. For example, GWAS analyses on many different phentoypes for sports performances; genomic selection on performances; fin phenotyping techniques (gait, morphology, metabolomics, ....); analysis of microRNA and non-coding RNA; direct sequencing of mitochondrial RNA and DNA; analysis of mtDNA variability; mitochondrial functional genomics; analysis of the intestinal microbiota; itnegrative analysis of heterogenous omics data.

Overall activities

BIGE develops new knowledge in equine genetics and genomics that will improve sports aptitudes, health and welfare of equine populations.

Outstanding results

In addition to our publications, two genotyping tests were invented in 2019:

  • for the gene responsible for curly hair in the Curly breed horse;
  • for a mutation associated with recurrent exercise myopathy.

Scientific questions

Our team’s mission is to provide the equine sector with methods to produce high-performing and healthy sports horses. We develop research projects and applications in integrative genetics and genomics to improve performances, health and welfare of racehorses produced in France. Thus, our research projects may be divided into two main axes :  i) Genetics of sports performances and ii) Genomics, health and welfare.

Associated projects

Life: Identification and characterization of early markers in selection for length of functional sports longevity (durability independent of skill).

SoGen: Genomic evaluation and search for molecular markers in the sports horse for jumping, morphology and gait. Development of fine large-scale phenotyping of morphology and gait.

GenOTrot: Verifying the effect of gene DMRT3 in French trotters and finding other DNA markers that influence race performance. Finding effects of genes for gait of trotters.

GenEndurance: The study of the relationship between performance in race endurance, genetics and fine phentoyping of the Arab breed horse (

Recurrent exercise rhabdomyolysis: Identifying the genetic cause of this effort myositis in the Arab and French trotter horses.

Ostéochondrose: Identifying new biomarkers, miRNA and metabolites in the synovial liquid to improve the characterization of osteochondrosis.

MitomiR_ARNiCA: Characterizing microRNA and long non-coding RNA located in the mitochondria, coded by the mitochondrial genome or imported.

MélanomEquin: Analysing long non-coding oncogene RNA for the early diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, in relation with genetics of the grey coat.

Cythomix: Study of the relation between the microbiota of the host and infestation by small cyathostome strongles in order to understand host-parasite inter-relations.

Mal-être du cheval au box: Analyzing the relations between the microbiota, behavior and behavioral stress in the stalled horse. 

Research tools

  • Partnership with the FCE and breeder associations

BIGE is a member of the following doctoral schools: ABIES (Agriculture Biology, Environment, Health)

BIGE is a member of the University Paris-Saclay

See also