Genetic variation analysis within and among Chinese indigenous swine populations using microsatellite markers

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SummaryThe genetic structure of five types of Taihu pig (Erhualian, Middle Meishan, Small Meishan, Mizhu and Shawutou), Jiangquhai and Dongchuan pigs in China were investigated, by means of 27 microsatellite markers proposed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, International Society for Animal Genetics (FAO-ISAG). The Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium test indicated that genetic drift had occurred in these populations, which may be caused by founder effects, intensive selection and close breeding. Genetic heterozygosity and the effective number of alleles per population were calculated, and showed that the genetic variability of the Jiangquhai pig was the largest, while the Small Meishan had the lowest. Genetic differentiation was within each population as shown by the fixation index (FST = 0.18). Both a neighbour-joining (NJ) tree constructed from Nei's standard genetic distance and principal component analysis based on allele frequencies can distinguish types of Taihu pig from the other two breeds. Among Taihu pig populations, Erhualian and Mizhu grouped into one branch, while Middle Meishan, Small Meishan and Shawutou clustered as another branch. By including previously published data on European pigs reported, we confirmed that Chinese indigenous pigs and European pigs have diverged into two distinct groups.

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