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Evaluation of Genetic Effects of Demographic Bottleneck in Muzzafarnagri Sheep from India Using Microsatellite Markers
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 Title & Authors
Evaluation of Genetic Effects of Demographic Bottleneck in Muzzafarnagri Sheep from India Using Microsatellite Markers
Arora, R.; Bhatia, S.;
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Genetic variability is an important component in the ability of populations to adapt in the face of environmental change. Severe human impacts reduced Muzzafarnagri sheep of India from 500,000 in 1972 to 10,989 in 1973-74. Here we report for the first time the effect of this population decline on levels of genetic variability at 13 FAO recommended ovine microsatellite loci and contrast levels of variability to that in a breed from the same geographical region, which differed in numbers, by an order of magnitude (Marwari sheep). Of the 13 loci, 100% were polymorphic in both breeds. A high degree of genetic variation was observed within populations in terms of both allele diversity (number of alleles per locus, >4) and gene diversity (expected heterozygosity, >0.5), which implied that there is still a substantial amount of genetic diversity at the nuclear loci in a declining population. Nevertheless, overall low number of alleles per locus and relatively less abundance of low frequency alleles in Muzzafarnagri sheep suggested that genetic variability has been comparatively reduced in this population. Bottleneck analysis indicated that a genetic bottleneck did not occur during the most recent decline. In addition, we found that the differentiation among populations was moderate (= 11.8%). This study on assessment of genetic effects of the population declines in ovines is a step towards identification of genetically impoverished or healthy populations, which could prove to be a useful tool to facilitate conservation planning in this important species of small ruminants.
Microsatellite;Genetic Variability;Population Decline;Muzzafarnagri Sheep;
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