Genetic characterization of Southwestern European bovine breeds: A historical and biogeographical reassessment with a set of 16 microsatellites

Albano Beja-Pereira, P. Alexandrino, I. Bessa, Y. Carretero, S. Dunner, N. Ferrand, J. Jordana, D. Laloe, K. Moazami-Goudarzi, A. Sanchez, J. Cañon

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72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The origin of Iberian cattle has been suggested by some authors to be the product of European and north African cattle entrances during the last few thousands of years. However, these hypotheses were mainly based on morphological similarities. This study analyzed 889 unrelated individuals from 15 representative Iberian breeds and 3 French breeds for 16 microsatellite loci. Statistical tests were used to calculate interpopulation genetic distances (DA) and principal components analysis (PCA). To visualize the geographical distribution of the genetic differentiation between Iberian cattle breeds, data from the PCA analysis were used to construct synthetic maps. Genetic similarity among neighboring Iberian breeds is mainly caused by gene flow. However, recent demographic fluctuations and reproductive isolation in Alistana, Mirandesa, and Tudanca has increased genetic drift, which may be the main cause for the relatively high differentiation of these populations. The synthetic maps constructed with the first and second PCs revealed (1) a large differentiation between Northern Iberian breeds rather than between more geographically distant breeds, and (2) a clear east-west gradient that may be related with the model of demic diffusion of agriculture. Finally, we detected no strong evidence for an African genetic influence in the Iberian cattle breeds analyzed in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-250
JournalJournal of Heredity
Volume94
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2003

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