Taurine and zebu admixture in Near Eastern cattle: a comparison of mitochondrial, autosomal and Y-chromosomal data


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Abstract

SummaryEight Bos taurus cattle breeds from the Near East region were screened with a Bos indicus (zebu)-diagnostic Y-specific microsatellite (INRA124) to estimate the proportion of zebu Y chromosomes in each population. This value was compared with previously published values for zebu introgression for both the mitochondrial and autosomal gene pools of the same breeds. All breeds revealed considerable levels of introgression from B. indicus cattle when the autosomal data were taken into consideration; this was particularly apparent in cattle populations from Iraq in the east, and declined in the populations further west towards Anatolia. This non-random pattern of introgression and admixture is suggestive of the introduction of zebu cattle from the region corresponding to present-day Iran and northern Pakistan. In addition, the maternal and paternal markers demonstrate that the movement of cattle into and within the Near East was complex.

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