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Genetic diversity and admixture of indigenous cattle from North Ethiopia: Implications of historical introgressions in the gateway region to Africa

Zerabruk, M., Li, M.H., Kantanen, J., Olsaker, I., Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Erhardt, G., Vangen, O. (2012). Genetic diversity and admixture of indigenous cattle from North Ethiopia: Implications of historical introgressions in the gateway region to Africa, 43(3), 257-266. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2052.2011.02245.x

Abstract

Microsatellite variation was surveyed to determine the genetic diversity, population structure and admixture of seven North Ethiopian cattle breeds by combining multiple microsatellite data sets of Indian and West African zebu, and European, African and Near-Eastern taurine in genetic analyses. Based on allelic distribution, we identified four diagnostic alleles (HEL1-123 bp, CSSM66-201 bp, BM2113-150 bp and ILSTS6-285 bp) specific to the Near-Eastern taurine. Results of genetic relationship and population structure analyses confirmed the previously established marked genetic distinction between taurine and zebu, and indicated further divergence among the bio-geographical groupings of breeds such as North Ethiopian, Indian and West African zebu, and African, European and Near-Eastern taurine. Using the diagnostic alleles for bio-geographical groupings and a Bayesian method for population structure inference, we estimated the genetic influences of major historical introgressions in North Ethiopian cattle. The breeds have been heavily (>90%) influenced by zebu, followed by African, European and the Near-Eastern taurine. Overall, North Ethiopian cattle show a high level of within-population genetic variation (e.g. observed heterozygosity = 0.659-0.687), which is in the upper range of that reported for domestic cattle and indicates their potential for future breeding applications, even in a global context. Rather low but significant population differentiation (F ST = 1.1%, P < 0.05) was recorded as a result of multiple introgression events and strong genetic exchanges among the North Ethiopian breeds. © 2011 The Authors, Animal Genetics © 2011 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

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