Genetic variation in Barbari goats, a highly prolific breed distributed widely in the northern part of India, known for better milk and meat quality, was studied as a part of genetic characterization and conservation. The genomic DNA from 50 unrelated Barbari goats were amplified via PCR with a panel of 21 microsatellite markers, and resolved through 6 per cent denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by silver staining. The number of alleles ranged from 4 to 11, with allele sizes ranging from 88 to 220 bp. The distribution of allele frequencies was between 0.0104 and 0.5208. Polymorphism information content varied from 0.5563 to 0.8348. The population was not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for all except two microsatellite loci (ILSTS044 and ILSTS060). The observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.8478 to 1.0000 while the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.6208 to 0.8509. Based on the results of the present study, there is a good scope for exploiting the genetic variability in the Barbari goats for further improvement of performance.
Barbari goats; genetic characterization; heterozygosity; microsatellite markers; polymorphism
The present study aimed at analyzing the genetic variability of indigenous goat breeds (Capra hircus) using the MHC-associated microsatellite markers BF1, BM1818, BM1258, DYMS1, and SMHCC1. The following breeds were included: Chinese Xuhuai, Indian Changthangi and Pashmina, Kenyan Small East African (SEA) and Galla, and Albanian Vendi. To examine genetic variability, the levels of heterozigosity, degrees of inbreeding, and genetic differences among the breeds were analyzed. The mean number of alleles ranged from nine in the Galla to 14.5 in the Vendi breed. The mean observed heterozygosity and mean expected heterozygosity varied from 0.483 in the Vendi to 0.577 in the Galla breed, and from 0.767 in the SEA to 0.879 in the Vendi breed, respectively. Significant loss of heterozygosity (p < 0.01) indicated that these loci were not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The mean FIS values ranged from 0.3299 in the SEA to 0.4605 in the Vendi breed with a mean value of 0.3623 in all breeds (p < 0.001). Analysis of molecular variance indicated that 7.14% and 4.74% genetic variation existed among the different breeds and geographic groups, whereas 92.86% and 95.26% existed in the breeds and the geographic groups, respectively (p < 0.001). The microsatellite marker analysis disclosed a high degree of genetic polymorphism. Loss of heterozygosity could be due to genetic drift and endogamy. The genetic variation among populations and geographic groups does not indicate a correlation of genetic differences with geographic distance.
genetic variability; indigenous goat breeds; major histocompatibility complex; microsatellites
Twelve Chinese indigenous goat populations were genotyped for twenty-six microsatellite markers recommended by the EU Sheep and Goat Biodiversity Project. A total of 452 goats were tested. Seventeen of the 26 microsatellite markers used in this analysis had four or more alleles. The mean expected heterozygosity and the mean observed heterozygosity for the population varied from 0.611 to 0.784 and 0.602 to 0.783 respectively. The mean FST (0.105) demonstrated that about 89.5% of the total genetic variation was due to the genetic differentiation within each population. A phylogenetic tree based on the Nei (1978) standard genetic distance displayed a remarkable degree of consistency with their different geographical origins and their presumed migration throughout China. The correspondence analysis did not only distinguish population groups, but also confirmed the above results, classifying the important populations contributing to diversity. Additionally, some specific alleles were shown to be important in the construction of the population structure. The study analyzed the recent origins of these populations and contributed to the knowledge and genetic characterization of Chinese indigenous goat populations. In addition, the seventeen microsatellites recommended by the EU Sheep and Goat Biodiversity Project proved to be useful for the biodiversity studies in goat breeds.
genetic relationship; microsatellite; goat; Chinese indigenous population
A set of eleven pig breeds originating from six European countries, and including a small sample of wild pigs, was chosen for this study of genetic diversity. Diversity was evaluated on the basis of 18 microsatellite markers typed over a total of 483 DNA samples collected. Average breed heterozygosity varied from 0.35 to 0.60. Genotypic frequencies generally agreed with Hardy-Weinberg expectations, apart from the German Landrace and Schwäbisch-Hällisches breeds, which showed significantly reduced heterozygosity. Breed differentiation was significant as shown by the high among-breed fixation index (overall FST = 0.27), and confirmed by the clustering based on the genetic distances between individuals, which grouped essentially all individuals in 11 clusters corresponding to the 11 breeds. The genetic distances between breeds were first used to construct phylogenetic trees. The trees indicated that a genetic drift model might explain the divergence of the two German breeds, but no reliable phylogeny could be inferred among the remaining breeds. The same distances were also used to measure the global diversity of the set of breeds considered, and to evaluate the marginal loss of diversity attached to each breed. In that respect, the French Basque breed appeared to be the most "unique" in the set considered. This study, which remains to be extended to a larger set of European breeds, indicates that using genetic distances between breeds of farm animals in a classical taxonomic approach may not give clear resolution, but points to their usefulness in a prospective evaluation of diversity.
genetic diversity; molecular marker; conservation; pig; European breed
Genetic diversity at 13 equine microsatellite loci was compared in five endangered Spanish donkey breeds: Andaluza, Catalana, Mallorquina, Encartaciones and Zamorano-Leonesa. All of the equine microsatellites used in this study were amplified and were polymorphic in the domestic donkey breeds with the exception of HMS1, which was monomorphic, and ASB2, which failed to amplify. Allele number, frequency distributions and mean heterozygosities were very similar among the Spanish donkey breeds. The unbiased expected heterozygosity (HE) over all the populations varied between 0.637 and 0.684 in this study. The low GST value showed that only 3.6% of the diversity was between breeds (P < 0.01). Significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were shown for a number of locus-population combinations, except HMS5 that showed agreement in all analysed populations. The cumulative exclusion probability (PE) was 0.999 in each breed, suggesting that the loci would be suitable for donkey parentage testing. The constructed dendrogram from the DA distance matrix showed little differentiation between Spanish breeds, but great differentiation between them and the Moroccan ass and also with the horse, used as an outgroup. These results confirm the potential use of equine microsatellite loci as a tool for genetic studies in domestic donkey populations, which could also be useful for conservation plans.
donkey; endangered breed; microsatellite; diversity; genetic variability
The goat (Capra hircus) is one of the earliest domesticated species ca. 10,500 years ago in the Middle-East where its wild ancestor, the bezoar (Capra aegagrus), still occurs. During the Neolithic dispersal, the domestic goat was then introduced in Europe, including the main Mediterranean islands. Islands are interesting models as they maintain traces of ancient colonization, historical exchanges or of peculiar systems of husbandry. Here, we compare the mitochondrial genetic diversity of both medieval and extant goats in the Island of Corsica that presents an original and ancient model of breeding with free-ranging animals. We amplified a fragment of the Control Region for 21 medieval and 28 current goats. Most of them belonged to the A haplogroup, the most worldwide spread and frequent today, but the C haplogroup is also detected at low frequency in the current population. Present Corsican goats appeared more similar to medieval goats than to other European goat populations. Moreover, 16 out of the 26 haplotypes observed were endemic to Corsica and the inferred demographic history suggests that the population has remained constant since the Middle Ages. Implications of these results on management and conservation of endangered Corsican goats currently decimated by a disease are addressed.
Assessing genetic biodiversity and population structure of minor breeds through the information provided by neutral molecular markers, allows determination of their extinction risk and to design strategies for their management and conservation. Analysis of microsatellite loci is known to be highly informative in the reconstruction of the historical processes underlying the evolution and differentiation of animal populations. Guadarrama goat is a threatened Spanish breed which actual census (2008) consists of 3057 females and 203 males distributed in 22 populations more or less isolated. The aim of this work is to study the genetic status of this breed through the analysis of molecular data from 10 microsatellites typed in historic and actual live animals.
The mean expected heterozygosity across loci within populations ranged from 0.62 to 0.77. Genetic differentiation measures were moderate, with a mean FST of 0.074, GST of 0.081 and RST of 0.085. Percentages of variation among and within populations were 7.5 and 92.5, respectively. Bayesian clustering analyses pointed out a population subdivision in 16 clusters, however, no correlation between geographical distances and genetic differences was found. Management factors such as the limited exchange of animals between farmers (estimated gene flow Nm = 3.08) mostly due to sanitary and social constraints could be the major causes affecting Guadarrama goat population subdivision.
Genetic diversity measures revealed a good status of biodiversity in the Guadarrama goat breed. Since diseases are the first cause affecting the census in this breed, population subdivision would be an advantage for its conservation. However, to maintain private alleles present at low frequencies in such small populations minimizing the inbreeding rate, it would necessitate some mating designs of animals carrying such alleles among populations. The systematic use of molecular markers will facilitate the comprehensive management of these populations, which in combination with the actual breeding program to increase milk yield, will constitute a good strategy to preserve the breed.
SNP data of goats of three Mediterranean countries were used for population studies and reconstruction of geographical patterning. 496 individuals belonging to Italian, Albanian and Greek breeds were genotyped to assess the basic population parameters.
A total of 26 SNPs were used, for a total of 12,896 genotypes assayed. Statistical analysis revealed that breeds are not so similar in terms of genetic variability, as reported in studies performed using different markers. The Mantel test showed a strongly significant correlation between genetic and geographic distance. Also, PCA analysis revealed that breeds are grouped according to geographical origin, with the exception of the Greek Skopelos breed.
Our data point out that the use of SNP markers to analyze a wider breed sample could help in understanding the recent evolutionary history of domestic goats. We found correlation between genetic diversity and geographic distance. Also PCA analysis shows that the breeds are well differentiated, with good correspondence to geographical locations, thus confirming the correlation between geographical and genetic distances. This suggests that migration history of the species played a pivotal role in the present-day structure of the breeds and a scenario in which coastal routes were easier for migrating in comparison with inland routes. A westward coastal route to Italy through Greece could have led to gene flow along the Northern Mediterranean.
Jamunapari, a dairy goat breed of India, has been gradually declining in numbers in its home tract over the years. We have analysed genetic variation and population history in Jamunapari goats based on 17 microsatellite loci, 2 milk protein loci, mitochondrial hypervariable region I (HVRI) sequencing, and three Y-chromosomal gene sequencing. We used the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mismatch distribution, microsatellite data, and bottleneck tests to infer the population history and demography. The mean number of alleles per locus was 9.0 indicating that the allelic variation was high in all the loci and the mean heterozygosity was 0.769 at nuclear loci. Although the population size is smaller than 8,000 individuals, the amount of variability both in terms of allelic richness and gene diversity was high in all the microsatellite loci except ILST 005. The gene diversity and effective number of alleles at milk protein loci were higher than the 10 other Indian goat breeds that they were compared to. Mismatch analysis was carried out and the analysis revealed that the population curve was unimodal indicating the expansion of population. The genetic diversity of Y-chromosome genes was low in the present study. The observed mean M ratio in the population was above the critical significance value (Mc) and close to one indicating that it has maintained a slowly changing population size. The mode-shift test did not detect any distortion of allele frequency and the heterozygosity excess method showed that there was no significant departure from mutation-drift equilibrium detected in the population. However, the effects of genetic bottlenecks were observed in some loci due to decreased heterozygosity and lower level of M ratio. There were two observed genetic subdivisions in the population supporting the observations of farmers in different areas. This base line information on genetic diversity, bottleneck analysis, and mismatch analysis was obtained to assist the conservation decision and management of the breed.
This study was undertaken to determine the genetic structure, evolutionary relationships, and the genetic diversity among 18 local cattle breeds from Spain, Portugal, and France using 16 microsatellites. Heterozygosities, estimates of Fst, genetic distances, multivariate and diversity analyses, and assignment tests were performed. Heterozygosities ranged from 0.54 in the Pirenaica breed to 0.72 in the Barrosã breed. Seven percent of the total genetic variability can be attributed to differences among breeds (mean Fst = 0.07; P < 0.01). Five different genetic distances were computed and compared with no correlation found to be significantly different from 0 between distances based on the effective size of the population and those which use the size of the alleles. The Weitzman recursive approach and a multivariate analysis were used to measure the contribution of the breeds diversity. The Weitzman approach suggests that the most important breeds to be preserved are those grouped into two clusters: the cluster formed by the Mirandesa and Alistana breeds and that of the Sayaguesa and Tudanca breeds. The hypothetical extinction of one of those clusters represents a 17% loss of diversity. A correspondence analysis not only distinguished four breed groups but also confirmed results of previous studies classifying the important breeds contributing to diversity. In addition, the variation between breeds was sufficiently high so as to allow individuals to be assigned to their breed of origin with a probability of 99% for simulated samples.
local beef cattle breeds; microsatellite; genetic diversity
West African Dwarf (WAD) goats serve an important role in the rural village economy of West Africa, especially among small-holder livestock owners. They have been shown to be trypanotolerant and to resist infections with Haemonchus contortus more effectively than any other known breed of goat.
In this paper we review what is known about the origins of this goat breed, explain its economic importance in rural West Africa and review the current status of our knowledge about its ability to resist parasitic infections.
We suggest that its unique capacity to show both trypanotolerance and resistance to gastrointestinal (GI) nematode infections is immunologically based and genetically endowed, and that knowledge of the underlying genes could be exploited to improve the capacity of more productive wool and milk producing, but GI nematode susceptible, breeds of goats to resist infection, without recourse to anthelmintics. Either conventional breeding allowing introgression of resistance alleles into susceptible breeds, or transgenesis could be exploited for this purpose. Appropriate legal protection of the resistance alleles of WAD goats might provide a much needed source of revenue for the countries in West Africa where the WAD goats exist and where currently living standards among rural populations are among the lowest in the world.
Fourteen polymorphic microsatellite loci were isolated from the genomic DNA of Pistacia weinmannifolia, using the Fast Isolation by AFLP of Sequences Containing repeats (FIASCO) method, and screened on 12 individuals from each of two wild populations. The 14 polymorphic loci had an average of 4.1 alleles per locus varying from 1 to 9. The observed (Ho) and expected (He) heterozygosities across the two populations ranged from 0.000 to 0.933 and from 0.000 to 0.906, respectively. Tests for departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) and genotypic linkage disequilibrium (LD) were conducted for each of the two populations separately. It was found that no locus significantly deviated from HWE proportions and no significant LD was detected between loci (p < 0.001). In the test of cross-species utility, we successfully amplified nine (64.2%) of 14 loci in P. chinensis and four (28.6%) in P. mexicana. The relatively high level of polymorphism for these markers will facilitate further studies of gene flow, population structure and evolutionary history of P. weinmannifolia and its congeners.
Pistacia weinmannifolia; microsatellites; Anacardiaceae; genetic structure; polymorphism
In studies where microsatellite markers are employed, it is essential that the primers designed will reliably and consistently amplify target loci. In populations conforming to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE), screening for unreliable markers often relies on the identification of heterozygote deficiencies and subsequent departures from HWE. However, since many populations naturally deviate from HWE, such as many marine invertebrates, it can be difficult to distinguish heterozygote deficiencies resulting from unreliable markers from natural processes. Thus, studies of populations that are suspected to deviate from HWE naturally would benefit from a method to validate genotype data-sets and test the reliability of the designed primers. Levels of heterozygosity are reported for the prosobranch mollusc Hydrobia ulvae (Pennant) together with a method of genotype validation and primer assessment that utilises two primer sets for each locus. Microsatellite loci presented are the first described for the species Hydrobia ulvae; the five loci presented will be of value in further study of populations of H. ulvae.
We have developed a novel method of testing primer reliability in naturally heterozygote deficient populations. After the design of an initial primer set, genotyping in 48 Hydrobia ulvae specimens using a single primer set (Primer set_A) revealed heterozygote deficiency in six of the seven loci examined. Redesign of six of the primer pairs (Primer set_B), re-genotyping of the successful individuals from Primer set_A using Primer set_B, and comparison of genotypes between the two primer sets, enabled the identification of two loci (Hulv-06 & Hulv-07) that showed a high degree of discrepancy between primer sets A and B (0% & only 25% alleles matching, respectively), suggesting unreliability in these primers. The discrepancies included changes from heterozygotes to homozygotes or vice versa, and some individuals who also displayed new alleles of unexpected sizes. Of the other four loci examined (Hulv-01, Hulv-03, Hulv-04, & Hulv-05), all showed more than 95% agreement between primer sets. Hulv-01, Hulv-03, & Hulv-05 displayed similar levels of heterozygosity with both primer sets suggesting that these loci are indeed heterozygote deficient, while Hulv-08 showed no deficiency in either primer set.
The simple method described to identify unreliable markers will prove a useful technique for many population studies, and also emphasises the dangers in using a single primer set and assuming marker reliability in populations shown to naturally deviate from HWE.
Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) can be used to identify microsatellite markers. We developed 30 polymorphic microsatellite markers from 5053 ESTs of the Miichthys miiuy. Out of 123 EST derived microsatellites for which PCR primers were designed, 30 loci were polymorphic in 30 individuals from a single natural population with 2–13 alleles per locus. The observed and expected heterozygosities were from 0.1024 to 0.7917 and from 0.2732 to 0.8845, respectively. Nine loci deviated from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and linkage disequilibrium was significant between 22 pairs of loci. These polymorphic microsatellite loci will be useful for genetic diversity analysis and molecule-assisted breeding for M. miiuy.
microsatellite; Expressed sequence tags (ESTs); Miichthys miiuy
Introgression of Sahel livestock genes southwards in West Africa may be favoured by human activity and the increase of the duration of the dry seasons since the 1970’s. The aim of this study is to assess the gene flow patterns in Burkina Faso goat and to ascertain the most likely factors influencing geographic patterns of genetic variation in the Burkina Faso goat population.
A total of 520 goat were sampled in 23 different locations of Burkina Faso and genotyped for a set of 19 microsatellites. Data deposited in the Dryad repository: http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.41h46j37. Although overall differentiation is poor (FST = 0.067 ± 0.003), the goat population of Burkina Faso is far from being homogeneous. Barrier analysis pointed out the existence of: a) genetic discontinuities in the Central and Southeast Burkina Faso; and b) genetic differences within the goat sampled in the Sahel or the Sudan areas of Burkina Faso. Principal component analysis and admixture proportion scores were computed for each population sampled and used to construct interpolation maps. Furthermore, Population Graph analysis revealed that the Sahel and the Sudan environmental areas of Burkina Faso were connected through a significant number of extended edges, which would be consistent with the hypothesis of long-distance dispersal. Genetic variation of Burkina Faso goat followed a geographic-related pattern. This pattern of variation is likely to be related to the presence of vectors of African animal trypanosomosis. Partial Mantel test identified the present Northern limit of trypanosome vectors as the most significant landscape boundary influencing the genetic variability of Burkina Faso goat (p = 0.008). The contribution of Sahel goat genes to the goat populations in the Northern and Eastern parts of the Sudan-Sahel area of Burkina Faso was substantial. The presence of perennial streams explains the existence of trypanosome vectors. The South half of the Nakambé river (Southern Ouagadougou) and the Mouhoun river loop determined, respectively, the Eastern and Northern limits for the expansion of Sahelian goat genes. Furthermore, results from partial Mantel test suggest that the introgression of Sahelian goat genes into Djallonké goat using human-influenced genetic corridors has a limited influence when compared to the biological boundary defined by the northern limits for the distribution of the tsetse fly. However, the genetic differences found between the goat sampled in Bobo Dioulasso and the other populations located in the Sudan area of Burkina Faso may be explained by the broad goat trade favoured by the main road of the country.
The current analysis clearly suggests that genetic variation in Burkina Faso goat: a) follows a North to South clinal; and b) is affected by the distribution of the tsetse fly that imposes a limit to the Sahelian goat expansion due to their trypanosusceptibility. Here we show how extensive surveys on livestock populations can be useful to indirectly assess the consequences of climate change and human action in developing countries.
Studies of genetic diversity are essential in understanding the extent of differentiation between breeds, and in designing successful diversity conservation strategies. The objective of this study was to evaluate the level of genetic diversity within and between North American Brown Swiss (BS, n = 900), Jersey (JE, n = 2,922) and Holstein (HO, n = 3,535) cattle, using genotyped bulls. GENEPOP and FSTAT software were used to evaluate the level of genetic diversity within each breed and between each pair of the three breeds based on genome-wide SNP markers (n = 50,972).
Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) exact test within breeds showed a significant deviation from equilibrium within each population (P < 0.01), which could be a result of selection, genetic drift and inbreeding within each breed. Hardy-Weinberg test also confirmed significant heterozygote deficit in each breed over several loci. Moreover, results from population differentiation tests showed that the majority of loci have alleles or genotypes drawn from different distributions in each breed. Average gene diversity, expressed in terms of observed heterozygosity, over all loci in BS, JE and HO was 0.27, 0.26 and 0.31, respectively. The proportion of genetic diversity due to allele frequency differences among breeds (Fst) indicated that the combination of BS and HO in an ideally amalgamated population had higher genetic diversity than the other pairs of breeds.
Results suggest that the three bull populations have substantially different gene pools. BS and HO show the largest gene differentiation and jointly the highest total expected gene diversity compared to when JE is considered. If the loss of genetic diversity within breeds worsens in the future, the use of crossbreeding might be an option to recover genetic diversity, especially for the breeds with small population size.
Genetic diversity; SNPs; Genome-wide
Current research on quantitative genetics has provided efficient guidelines for the sustainable management of selected populations: genetic gain is maximized while the loss of genetic diversity is maintained at a reasonable rate. However, actual selection schemes are complex, especially for large domestic species, and they have to take into account many operational constraints. This paper deals with the actual selection of dairy goats where the challenge is to optimize diffusion of buck semen on the field. Three objectives are considered simultaneously: i) natural service buck replacement (NSR); ii) goat replacement (GR); iii) semen distribution of young bucks to be progeny-tested. An appropriate optimization method is developed, which involves five analytical steps. Solutions are obtained by simulated annealing and the corresponding algorithms are presented in detail.
The whole procedure was tested on two French goat populations (Alpine and Saanen breeds) and the results presented in the abstract were based on the average of the two breeds. The procedure induced an immediate acceleration of genetic gain in comparison with the current annual genetic gain (0.15 genetic standard deviation unit), as shown by two facts. First, the genetic level of replacement natural service (NS) bucks was predicted, 1.5 years ahead at the moment of reproduction, to be equivalent to that of the progeny-tested bucks in service, born from the current breeding scheme. Second, the genetic level of replacement goats was much higher than that of their dams (0.86 unit), which represented 6 years of selection, although dams were only 3 years older than their replacement daughters. This improved genetic gain could be achieved while decreasing inbreeding coefficients substantially. Inbreeding coefficients (%) of NS bucks was lower than that of the progeny-tested bucks (-0.17). Goats were also less inbred than their dams (-0.67).
It was possible to account for complex operational constraints while developing goat selection schemes, both efficient and sustainable. Therefore, the recommended selection and mating decisions might receive attention from goat breeders using both AI and NS.
We characterize thirteen polymorphic microsatellite loci isolated from Naja atra genomic libraries, which were enriched for AC-motif microsatellites. The thirteen loci were screened on a group of 48 individuals from two populations, one in Yong’an and the other in Ganzhou. These markers revealed a relatively high degree of genetic diversity (4–12 alleles per locus) and heterozygosity (Ho ranged from 0.213–0.854 and He ranged from 0.301–0.838). Tests for departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and for linkage disequilibrium were conducted for each of the two populations separately. After sequential Bonferroni correction, none of the 13 loci showed significant departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Hierarchical analysis of molecular variance indicated that a small but significant (P < 0.001) proportion (16.0%) of the total variation in the microsatellite DNA data were attributable to differences among populations, indicating geographical structuring and restricted gene flow. It could be attributable to the Wuyi mountains in the area having a sufficiently isolating effect to significantly reduce gene flow. Our microsatellite data also showed a low Nm (1.31) value in the two populations from mainland China. Thus, the Yong’an and Ganzhou populations could be treated as distinct evolutionarily significant units (ESUs). The high level of polymorphism revealed by these microsatellite markers will be useful for the study of gene flow, population structure and evolutionary history of N. atra.
Naja atra; Elapidae; microsatellites; PCR primers; polymorphism
Many works demonstrate the benefits of using highly polymorphic markers such as microsatellites in order to measure the genetic diversity between closely related breeds. But it is sometimes difficult to decide which genetic distance should be used. In this paper we review the behaviour of the main distances encountered in the literature in various divergence models. In the first part, we consider that breeds are populations in which the assumption of equilibrium between drift and mutation is verified. In this case some interesting distances can be expressed as a function of divergence time, t, and therefore can be used to construct phylogenies. Distances based on allele size distribution (such as (δμ)2 and derived distances), taking a mutation model of microsatellites, the Stepwise Mutation Model, specifically into account, exhibit large variance and therefore should not be used to accurately infer phylogeny of closely related breeds. In the last section, we will consider that breeds are small populations and that the divergence times between them are too small to consider that the observed diversity is due to mutations: divergence is mainly due to genetic drift. Expectation and variance of distances were calculated as a function of the Wright-Malécot inbreeding coefficient, F. Computer simulations performed under this divergence model show that the Reynolds distance is the best method for very closely related breeds.
microsatellites; breeds; divergence; mutation; genetic drift
Identification of global livestock diversity hotspots and their importance in diversity maintenance is essential for making global conservation efforts. We screened 52 sheep breeds from the Eurasian subcontinent with 20 microsatellite markers. By estimating and weighting differently within- and between-breed genetic variation our aims were to identify genetic diversity hotspots and prioritize the importance of each breed for conservation, respectively. In addition we estimated how important within-species diversity hotspots are in livestock conservation.
Bayesian clustering analysis revealed three genetic clusters, termed Nordic, Composite and Fat-tailed. Southern breeds from close to the region of sheep domestication were more variable, but less genetically differentiated compared with more northern populations. Decreasing weight for within-breed diversity component led to very high representation of genetic clusters or regions containing more diverged breeds, but did not increase phenotypic diversity among the high ranked breeds. Sampling populations throughout 14 regional groups was suggested for maximized total genetic diversity.
During initial steps of establishing a livestock conservation program populations from the diversity hot-spot area are the most important ones, but for the full design our results suggested that approximately equal population presentation across environments should be considered. Even in this case, higher per population emphasis in areas of high diversity is appropriate. The analysis was based on neutral data, but we have no reason to think the general trend is limited to this type of data. However, a comprehensive valuation of populations should balance production systems, phenotypic traits and available genetic information, and include consideration of probability of success.
Deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) are commonly thought of as indicating genotyping errors, population stratification or some other artefact. However they could also arise through important biological mechanisms. In particular, genetic variants having a recessive effect on the successful fertilisation and/or development of an embryo might be manifest through such deviations in an unselected sample of "control" subjects.
We investigated genotypes from 463842 autosomal markers from 1504 British subjects. We identified regions in which several neighbouring markers exhibited deviation from HWE in the same direction by considering "heterozygosity scores" in windows of 10 markers. The heterozygosity score for each marker was defined as -log(p) or log(p) according to whether the marker demonstrated increased heterozygosity or homozygosity. In each window the marker with the highest absolute score was ignored and the positive and negative scores were summed for the other nine markers. Windows were selected on the basis of this sum exceeding a given threshold, for which we used values of 50 or 15.
For the threshold of 50, we identified 7 regions with increased heterozygosity and for the threshold of 15 we identified 22 regions with increased heterozygosity, 23 with increased homozygosity and 2 containing both kinds of window. The most impressive of these results came from a group of 6 markers at 17q21, each of which showed increased heterozygosity significant at p < 10-190.
The human genome contains regions which deviate markedly from HWE and these might harbour genes influencing embryonic survival.
We have reviewed the current pig (Sus scrofa) genomic diversity within and between sites and compared them with human and other livestock. The current Porcine 60K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel has an average SNP distance in a range of 30 - 40 kb. Most of genetic variation was distributed within populations, and only a small proportion of them existed between populations. The average heterozygosity was lower in pig than in human and other livestock. Genetic inbreeding coefficient (FIS), population differentiation (FST), and Nei’s genetic distance between populations were much larger in pig than in human and other livestock. Higher average genetic distance existed between European and Asian populations than between European or between Asian populations. Asian breeds harboured much larger variability and higher average heterozygosity than European breeds. The samples of wild boar that have been analyzed displayed more extensive genetic variation than domestic breeds. The average linkage disequilibrium (LD) in improved pig breeds extended to 1 - 3 cM, much larger than that in human (~ 30 kb) and cattle (~ 100 kb), but smaller than that in sheep (~ 10 cM). European breeds showed greater LD that decayed more slowly than Asian breeds. We briefly discuss some processes for maintaining genomic diversity in pig, including migration, introgression, selection, and drift. We conclude that, due to the long time of domestication, the pig possesses lower heterozygosity, higher FIS, and larger LD compared with human and cattle. This implies that a smaller effective population size and less informative markers are needed in pig for genome wide association studies.
Pig; genomic diversity; linkage disequilibrium; human; livestock.
The present experiment aims to examine the efficiency of estrus synchronization using progesterone and equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG) and to look at luteal function. During the non-breeding and breeding season, 5 adult female Korean native goats were injected intramuscularly with 2.5 ml of physiological saline as the control. A progesterone impregnated intravaginal sponge was then kept in the same goats for 10 days followed, after a week, by an intramuscular injection of 500 IU eCG. Five adult female Nubian goats were mated with a fertile buck during the non-breeding season. During the non-breeding season 2 of the 5 goats showed a normal estrous cycle (ranging from 18 to 21 days) and 3 a short estrous cycle (ranging from 3 to 6 days). During the breeding season the equivalent figures were 1 and 2. The major axes of the corpus luteum (CL) were measured by means of calipers built into the ultrasonography system, and the concentrations of plasma progesterone (P4) were determined by double antibody radioimmunoassay. The mean major axes of the CL in goats showing the short cycle (6.1 ± 0.5 mm) was significantly smaller than in those showing the normal cycle (8.9 ± 0.5 mm; p < 0.01) and also the value of P4 in goats showing the short cycle (4.2 ± 2.1 ng/ml) was significantly lower than for those showing the normal cycle (10.3 ± 4.3 ng/ml; p < 0.05) at day 3 following ovulation. Three out of 5 Nubian goats became pregnant but only one goat carried to full term. The present experiment indicated that a combination of progesterone and eCG was effective in inducing estrus, although it resulted in a high incidence of short luteal lifespan. The low kidding rate and high incidence of embryonic loss may be due to the instability of the luteal lifespan.
eCG; goats; luteal lifespan; progesterone
During the last decades, there has been an acceleration of the loss of domestic animal biodiversity. For conservation purposes, the genetic diversity of the H'Mong cattle, an indigenous local breed was studied. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of the SRY gene and mtDNA D-Loop sequence were analysed to clarify the origin of the breed. The genetic diversity was assessed through genetic data with twenty-five FAO microsatellites, and morphometric data with five body measurements from 408 animals sampled from eight districts of the Ha Giang province.
The SRY genes were all of the zebu type. Among the 27 mtDNA haplotypes, 12 haplotypes were of the taurine type and the remaining 15 of the zebu type. This indicates female taurine introgression in the zebu H'Mong. The observed and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.616 to 0.673 and from 0.681 to 0.729 respectively according to district, with low genetic differentiation (FST = 0.0076). Multivariate analysis on morphometric and genetic data shows a separation of districts into two groups following a south-west/north-east cline and admixture analysis confirmed the two clusters, but no differentiation of taurine introgression between clusters was observed. A possible admixture with the Yellow cattle breed from a neighbouring province was suggested through genetic data and householder interviews.
In this study we demonstrate the interest of fine-scale sampling for the study of genetic structure of local breeds. Such a study allows avoiding erroneous conservation policies and on the contrary, proposes measures for conserving and limiting crossbreeding between the H'Mong and the Yellow cattle breeds.
Chinese indigenous pig breeds are recognized as an invaluable component of the world's pig genetic resources and are divided traditionally into six types. Twenty-six microsatellite markers recommended by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and ISAG (International Society of Animal Genetics) were employed to analyze the genetic diversity of 18 Chinese indigenous pig breeds with 1001 individuals representing five types, and three commercial breeds with 184 individuals. The observed heterozygosity, unbiased expected heterozygosity and the observed and effective number of alleles were used to estimate the genetic variation of each indigenous breed. The unbiased expected heterozygosity ranged between 0.700 (Mashen) and 0.876 (Guanling), which implies that there is an abundant genetic variation stored in Chinese indigenous pig breeds. Breed differentiation was shown by fixation indices (FIT, FIS, and FST). The FST per locus varied from 0.019 (S0090) to 0.170 (SW951), and the average FST of all loci was 0.077, which means that most of the genetic variation was kept within breeds and only a little of the genetic variation exists between populations. The Neighbor-Joining tree was constructed based on the Nei DA (1978) distances and one large cluster with all local breeds but the Mashen breed, was obtained. Four smaller sub-clusters were also found, which included two to four breeds each. These results, however, did not completely agree with the traditional type of classification. A Neighbor-Joining dendrogram of individuals was established from the distance of – ln(proportions of shared alleles); 92.14% of the individuals were clustered with their own breeds, which implies that this method is useful for breed demarcation. This extensive research on pig genetic diversity in China indicates that these 18 Chinese indigenous breeds may have one common ancestor, helps us to better understand the relative distinctiveness of pig genetic resources, and will assist in developing a national plan for the conservation and utilization of Chinese indigenous pig breeds.
genetic variation; population structure; microsatellite; pig; Chinese indigenous breed