Diversity of Chinese Indigenous Goat Breeds: A Conservation Perspective - A Review -

  • Li, M.H. (Laboratory of Molecular Biology & Animal Breeding, School of Animal Science & Technology Huazhong Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, K. (Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Zhao, S.H. (Laboratory of Molecular Biology & Animal Breeding, School of Animal Science & Technology Huazhong Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2003.08.13
  • Accepted : 2004.01.26
  • Published : 2004.05.01


In this manuscript, a review of the diversity of Chinese indigenous goat breeds according to data from body stature and appearance, chromosome group, blood proteins, DNA molecular markers (mitochondria DNA, random amplified polymorphic DNA, microsatellite DNA, major histocompatibility complex) has been introduced. All of these provide efficient tools for the diversity analysis of Chinese indigenous goat breeds and are very important for biodiversity conservation, restoration of declining goat breeds, the priority defining in Chinese indigenous goat breeds' protection and the selection of nature preservation zones. Many Chinese indigenous goat breeds with small population size in the isolated mountains or reservoir areas are verging the potential threat of extinction, effectively lost with the rapid destroying of ecological environment. On the other hand, as a result of the introduction of modern commercial goat breeds and shortage of effective conservation, some populations, such as Small-xiang goat and Tibetan goat decrease rapidly in number of sires. In the interests of the long-term future of the goat breeds in China, conservation of goat breeds' genetic resources should be considered urgently and some conservation measures should be adopted. In addition, the continuing development of molecular biology will further enhance conservation of diversity of Chinese indigenous goat breeds.


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