Evaluation of genetic diversity and population structure of west-central Indian cattle breeds

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Evaluations of genetic diversity in domestic livestock populations are necessary to implement region-specific conservation measures. We determined the genetic diversity and evolutionary relationships among eight geographically and phenotypically diverse cattle breeds indigenous to west-central India by genotyping these animals for 22 microsatellite loci. A total of 326 alleles were detected, and the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.614 (Kenkatha) to 0.701 (Dangi). The mean number of alleles among the cattle breeds ranged from 7.182 (Khillar) to 9.409 (Gaolao). There were abundant genetic variations displayed within breeds, and the genetic differentiation was also high between the Indian cattle breeds, which displayed 15.9% of the total genetic differentiation among the different breeds. The genetic differentiation (pairwise FST) among the eight Indian breeds varied from 0.0126 for the Kankrej–Malvi pair to 0.2667 for Khillar–Kenkatha pair. The phylogeny, principal components analysis, and structure analysis further supported close grouping of Kankrej, Malvi, Nimari and Gir; Gaolao and Kenkatha, whereas Dangi and Khillar remained at distance from other breeds.

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