Characterizing the Mitochondrial Diversity of Arbi Goats from Tunisia

Yosra Ressaissi*, Marcel Amills, Antonia Noce, Mohamed Ben Hamouda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Arbi is one of the main local goat breeds in Tunisia, representing an important economic resource in arid and hot areas where cattle and sheep cannot thrive successfully. In the current work, we have characterized the mitochondrial diversity of 26 Arbi goats by partially sequencing the mitochondrial D-loop region. These sequences plus 10 retrieved from GenBank were analyzed with the DnaSP v.5.10.1, evidencing the existence of 12 different haplotypes. Nucleotide and haplotype diversities were 0.02 and 0.96. Moreover, median-joining network analysis showed that all D-loop sequences from Arbi goats correspond to haplogroup A and that in general they do not cluster with sequences from other goat breeds. The high diversity that has been observed in North African goats is compatible with the maritime diffusion of the Neolithic package 10,000–7000 YBP. Moreover, there are evidences that local Tunisian breeds have been extensively crossed with highly productive transboundary breeds in order to improve meat and milk yields. These uncontrolled crossing practices may lead to the loss of alleles that play key roles in the adaptation of Tunisian local breeds to a harsh environment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiochemical Genetics
Publication statusAccepted in press - 2021


  • Caprine variation
  • D-loop region
  • Median-joining network
  • Polymorphism


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