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1.  Genetic characterization of Barbari goats using microsatellite markers 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2009;10(1):73-76.
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.
PMCID: PMC2801097  PMID: 19255527
Barbari goats; genetic characterization; heterozygosity; microsatellite markers; polymorphism
2.  Genetic variability of six indigenous goat breeds using major histocompatibility complex-associated microsatellite markers 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2011;12(2):127-132.
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.
PMCID: PMC3104166  PMID: 21586871
genetic variability; indigenous goat breeds; major histocompatibility complex; microsatellites
3.  Genetic relationships among twelve Chinese indigenous goat populations based on microsatellite analysis 
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.
PMCID: PMC2705446  PMID: 12473236
genetic relationship; microsatellite; goat; Chinese indigenous population
4.  Genetic Structure of Chinese Indigenous Goats and the Special Geographical Structure in the Southwest China as a Geographic Barrier Driving the Fragmentation of a Large Population 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94435.
China has numerous native domestic goat breeds, however, extensive studies are focused on the genetic diversity within the fewer breeds and limited regions, the population demograogic history and origin of Chinese goats are still unclear. The roles of geographical structure have not been analyzed in Chinese goat domestic process. In this study, the genetic relationships of Chinese indigenous goat populations were evaluated using 30 microsatellite markers.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Forty Chinese indigenous populations containing 2078 goats were sampled from different geographic regions of China. Moderate genetic diversity at the population level (HS of 0.644) and high population diversity at the species level (HT value of 0.737) were estimated. Significant moderate population differentiation was detected (FST value of 0.129). Significant excess homozygosity (FIS of 0.105) and recent population bottlenecks were detected in thirty-six populations. Neighbour-joining tree, principal components analysis and Bayesian clusters all revealed that Chinese goat populations could be subdivided into at least four genetic clusters: Southwest China, South China, Northwest China and East China. It was observed that the genetic diversity of Northern China goats was highest among these clusters. The results here suggested that the goat populations in Southwest China might be the earliest domestic goats in China.
Our results suggested that the current genetic structure of Chinese goats were resulted from the special geographical structure, especially in the Western China, and the Western goat populations had been separated by the geographic structure (Hengduan Mountains and Qinling Mountains-Huaihe River Line) into two clusters: the Southwest and Northwest. It also indicated that the current genetic structure was caused by the geographical origin mainly, in close accordance with the human’s migration history throughout China. This study provides a fundamental genetic profile for the conservation of these populations and better to understand the domestication process and origin of Chinese goats.
PMCID: PMC3981790  PMID: 24718092
5.  Genetic diversity of eleven European pig breeds 
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.
PMCID: PMC2706869  PMID: 14736401
genetic diversity; molecular marker; conservation; pig; European breed
6.  Validation of a microsatellite panel for parentage testing of locally adapted and commercial goats in Brazil 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2013;37(1):54-60.
Brazilian goats are generally kept in small herds and extensive rearing systems, mainly in the northeastern region of the country. Despite production improvement in recent years, the lack of pedigree control has affected genetic progress. This study aimed to validate a panel of 16 microsatellites for parentage testing in locally adapted and commercial goats breeds raised in Brazil, as well as to compare its efficiency with the panel recommended by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supplies (MAPA) in 2004. The number of alleles and expected heterozygosity (He) per marker ranged from four to 18, and from 0.051 to 0.831, respectively. Using all markers, 100% of parentage cases of the validation dataset were resolved with a strict confidence level of 95%. The 16 microsatellites panel showed adequate exclusion power (99.99%) and identity accuracy (99.99%). Suggestions for improvement of the marker panel endorsed by MAPA are provided.
PMCID: PMC3958326
parentage errors; animal breeding; animal genetic resources; Capra hircus
7.  Genetic diversity in Spanish donkey breeds using microsatellite DNA markers 
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.
PMCID: PMC2705415  PMID: 11559485
donkey; endangered breed; microsatellite; diversity; genetic variability
8.  Geographical patterning of sixteen goat breeds from Italy, Albania and Greece assessed by Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms 
BMC Ecology  2009;9:20.
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.
PMCID: PMC2754418  PMID: 19725964
9.  A Dig into the Past Mitochondrial Diversity of Corsican Goats Reveals the Influence of Secular Herding Practices 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e30272.
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.
PMCID: PMC3267719  PMID: 22299033
10.  Analysis of genetic diversity in Brown Swiss, Jersey and Holstein populations using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism markers 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:161.
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.
PMCID: PMC3428661  PMID: 22439716
Genetic diversity; SNPs; Genome-wide
11.  Microsatellite based genetic diversity and population structure of the endangered Spanish Guadarrama goat breed 
BMC Genetics  2009;10:61.
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.
PMCID: PMC2761942  PMID: 19785776
12.  Ascertaining gene flow patterns in livestock populations of developing countries: a case study in Burkina Faso goat 
BMC Genetics  2012;13:35.
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: 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.
PMCID: PMC3413537  PMID: 22564289
13.  Microsatellite-based genetic diversity and population structure of domestic sheep in northern Eurasia 
BMC Genetics  2010;11:76.
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.
PMCID: PMC2931448  PMID: 20698974
14.  Isolation and Characterization of Microsatellite Loci in Pistacia weinmannifolia (Anacardiaceae) 
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.
PMCID: PMC3233440  PMID: 22174634
Pistacia weinmannifolia; microsatellites; Anacardiaceae; genetic structure; polymorphism
15.  Genetic diversity measures of local European beef cattle breeds for conservation purposes 
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.
PMCID: PMC2705410  PMID: 11403750
local beef cattle breeds; microsatellite; genetic diversity
16.  Development of 30 Novel Polymorphic Expressed Sequence Tags (EST)-Derived Microsatellite Markers for the Miiuy Croaker, Miichthys miiuy 
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.
PMCID: PMC3131606  PMID: 21747722
microsatellite; Expressed sequence tags (ESTs); Miichthys miiuy
17.  Luteal lifespan and fertility after estrus synchronization in goats 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2008;9(1):95-101.
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.
PMCID: PMC2839119  PMID: 18303279
eCG; goats; luteal lifespan; progesterone
18.  Genetic diversity, introgression and relationships among West/Central African cattle breeds 
Genetic diversity, introgression and relationships were studied in 521 individuals from 9 African Bos indicus and 3 Bos taurus cattle breeds in Cameroon and Nigeria using genotype information on 28 markers (16 microsatellite, 7 milk protein and 5 blood protein markers). The genotypes of 13 of the 16 microsatellite markers studied on three European (German Angus, German Simmental and German Yellow) and two Indian (Nelore and Ongole) breeds were used to assess the relationships between them and the African breeds. Diversity levels at microsatellite loci were higher in the zebu than in the taurine breeds and were generally similar for protein loci in the breeds in each group. Microsatellite allelic distribution displayed groups of alleles specific to the Indian zebu, African taurine and European taurine. The level of the Indian zebu genetic admixture proportions in the African zebus was higher than the African taurine and European taurine admixture proportions, and ranged from 58.1% to 74.0%. The African taurine breed, Muturu was free of Indian zebu genes while its counter Namchi was highly introgressed (30.2%). Phylogenic reconstruction and principal component analysis indicate close relationships among the zebu breeds in Cameroon and Nigeria and a large genetic divergence between the main cattle groups – African taurine, European taurine and Indian zebu, and a central position for the African zebus. The study presents the first comprehensive information on the hybrid composition of the individual cattle breeds of Cameroon and Nigeria and the genetic relationships existing among them and other breeds outside of Africa. Strong evidence supporting separate domestication events for the Bos species is also provided.
PMCID: PMC2697200  PMID: 15496287
genetic diversity; introgression; relationship; cattle
19.  The unique resistance and resilience of the Nigerian West African Dwarf goat to gastrointestinal nematode infections 
Parasites & Vectors  2011;4:12.
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.
PMCID: PMC3042002  PMID: 21291550
20.  The seroprevalence of Japanese encephalitis virus in goats raised in Korea 
Journal of Veterinary Science  2007;8(2):197-199.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) causes a mosquito-borne viral zoonosis that is becoming increasingly important to public health in east and south Asia. Although JEV is primarily associated with reproductive failure in swine, JEV infection can cause fever and headache in humans and is associated with aseptic meningitis and encephalitis. The exact mode of transmission, including host range and possible source of viral amplification within livestock, is still not completely clear. This study consisted of a serological survey of JEV infection in goats. A total of 804 goat serum samples were collected from 144 farms in Korea between May 2005 and May 2006. The incidence of positive cases was 12.1% (97 out of 804 goats). The seroprevalence of JEV infection in the 144 farms screened was 31.3% (45/144), indicating that JEV infection is frequent in goat farms in Korea. In addition, three districts of Korea (mainly in the southern region) had a higher seroprevalence of JEV compared to other areas. The results suggest that goats could be monitored epidemiologically as a sentinel animal for JEV transmission in Korea.
PMCID: PMC2872721  PMID: 17519576
goat; JEV; seroprevalence
21.  Novel Microsatellite Markers of Meretrix petechialis and Cross-species Amplification in Related Taxa (Bivalvia: Veneroida) 
The Asian hard clam, Meretrix petechialis, is an economically important bivalve, but its catch and population sizes are decreasing rapidly, owing to many factors, including large-scale reclamation of its natural habitat on the western coast of the Korean peninsula. Attempts to restore the resources and production of this species require genetic structure and diversity information. In this study, we developed 15 microsatellite markers from a partial genomic library enriched in GT repeats. Nine of these markers were polymorphic, with an average allele number of six, and six were monomorphic in 95 tested individuals. No linkage disequilibrium was found between any pair of loci (p > 0.05), and deviations from the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) test showing excess of heterozygotes was observed in only one of nine loci. In addition, no null alleles or genetic differentiation between two tested populations were detected. A cross-species amplification in 12 species of four families resulted in two M. petechialis-specific loci and three possible universal markers. This information will be useful in the future development of high-quality artificial seedlings and sustainable resource management.
PMCID: PMC3546671  PMID: 23443103
Meretrix; microsatellite; cross-species; Veneroida
22.  Cryptosporidium Genotypes and Subtypes in Lambs and Goat Kids in Spain▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2008;74(19):6026-6031.
To provide information on the transmission dynamics of cryptosporidial infections in domestic small ruminants and the potential role of sheep and goats as a source for human cryptosporidiosis, Cryptosporidium-positive isolates from 137 diarrheic lambs and 17 goat kids younger than 21 days of age were examined by using genotyping and subtyping techniques. Fecal specimens were collected between 2004 and 2006 from 71 sheep and 7 goat farms distributed throughout Aragón (northeastern Spain). Cryptosporidium parvum was the only species identified by restriction analyses of PCR products from small-subunit rRNA genes from all 154 microscopy-positive isolates and the sequencing of a subset of 50 isolates. Sequence analyses of the glycoprotein (GP60) gene revealed extensive genetic diversity within the C. parvum strains in a limited geographical area, in which the isolates from lambs exhibited 11 subtypes in two subtype families (IId and IIa) and those from goat kids displayed four subtypes within the family IId. Most isolates (98%) belonged to the subtype family IId, whereas only three isolates belonged to the most widely distributed family, IIa. Three of the four most prevalent subtypes (IIdA17G1a, IIdA19G1, and IIdA18G1) were previously identified in humans, and five subtypes (IIdA14G1, IIdA15G1, IIdA24G1, IIdA25G1, and IIdA26G1) were novel subtypes. All IId subtypes were identical to each other in the nonrepeat region, except for subtypes IIdA17G1b and IIdA22G1, which differed by a single nucleotide polymorphism downstream of the trinucleotide repeats. These findings suggest that lambs and goat kids are an important reservoir of the zoonotic C. parvum subtype family IId for humans.
PMCID: PMC2565967  PMID: 18621872
23.  A method for genotype validation and primer assessment in heterozygote-deficient species, as demonstrated in the prosobranch mollusc Hydrobia ulvae 
BMC Genetics  2008;9:55.
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.
PMCID: PMC2536670  PMID: 18713472
24.  Caprine prion gene polymorphisms are associated with decreased incidence of classical scrapie in goat herds in the United Kingdom 
Veterinary Research  2011;42(1):110.
The application of genetic breeding programmes to eradicate transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in goats is an important aim for reasons of animal welfare as well as human food safety and food security. Based on the positive impact of Prnp genetics on sheep scrapie in Europe in the past decade, we have established caprine Prnp gene variation in more than 1100 goats from the United Kingdom and studied the association of Prnp alleles with disease phenotypes in 150 scrapie-positive goats. This investigation confirms the association of the Met142 encoding Prnp allele with increased resistance to preclinical and clinical scrapie. It reveals a novel association of the Ser127 encoding allele with a reduced probability to develop clinical signs of scrapie in goats that are already positive for the accumulation of disease-specific prion protein in brain or periphery. A United Kingdom survey of Prnp genotypes in eight common breeds revealed eleven alleles in over thirty genotypes. The Met142 encoding allele had a high overall mean allele frequency of 22.6%, whereas the Ser127 encoding allele frequency was considerably lower with 6.4%. In contrast, a well known resistance associated allele encoding Lys222 was found to be rare (0.9%) in this survey. The analysis of Prnp genotypes in Mexican Criollas goats revealed nine alleles, including a novel Phe to Leu substitution in codon 201, confirming that high genetic variability of Prnp can be found in scrapie-free populations. Our study implies that it should be feasible to lower scrapie prevalence in goat herds in the United Kingdom by genetic selection.
PMCID: PMC3224758  PMID: 22040234
25.  Sequence Analysis of the Second Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS2) Region of rDNA for Species Identification of Trichostrongylus Nematodes Isolated From Domestic Livestock in Iran 
Infectivity of herbivores with Trichostrongylus nematodes is widespread in many countries, having a major economic impact on breeding, survivability, and productivity of domestic livestock. This study was carried out on Trichostrongylus species isolated from domestic livestock in order to develop an easy-to-perform method for species identification.
Trichostrongylus isolates were collected from sheep, goat, cattle, and buffaloes in Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran. Primary species identification was carried out based on morphological characterization of male worms. PCR amplification of ITS2-rDNA region was performed on genomic DNA and the products were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis of the nucleotide sequence data was conducted employing Bayesian Inference approach. Consequently, a restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) profile was designed to differentiate Trichostrongylus species.
A consensus sequence of 238 nucleotides was deposited in the GenBank for Iranian isolates of Trichostrongylus species including T. colubriformis, T. capricola, T. probolurus and T. vitrinus. The designated RFLP using restriction enzyme TasI could readily differentiate among species having different ITS2 sequence. The molecular analysis was in concordance with morphological findings.
Phylogenetic analysis indicated a close relationship among the sequences obtained in this study and reference sequence of relevant species. ITS2-RFLP with TasI is recommended for molecular differentiation of common Trichostrongylus species.
PMCID: PMC3469186  PMID: 23109944
Trichostrongylus; ITS2; Iran; Livestock

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