Genetic diversity measures of local cattle majorcan breed for conservation purposes

José Aranguren-Méndez, Jordi Jordana, Rosa Avellanet, Miquel Torrens

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8 Citations (Scopus)


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal genetic resources available throughout the world are in dramatic state of decline. This results in the disappearance of substantial numbers of local animal populations, and the consequent loss of their ability to adapt genetically to their local environments. This study analyzes the genetic variability and structure of a limited rare population, a local beef cattle breed from Majorca Isle (Spain): the Mallorquina breed, based on the analysis of 15 microsatellites. A total of 26 individuals, grouped according to coat color, were sampled: 12 from the red Mallorquina variety and 14 from the black Mallorquina variety. The genetic relationships between these subpopulations and five other Spanish cattle breeds were analyzed and compared. The levels of genetic variability were very similar for the two varieties, and comparable to those obtained in other Spanish and Europeans breeds. The value of genetic differentiation (FST) between the two varieties was low (0.3%), indicating the existence of high gene flow between the two groups, and great genetic similarity between them. On the other hand, the values obtained for FIS and FIT were 1.9% and 1.6%, with no statistical difference of zero, showing in this population, Hardy Weinberg equilibrium. The probability of exclusion (PE) was 99.9%, which allows us to utilize these markers as a good tool for individual identification and parentage testing. Genetic distance and the dendrogram results obtained show a clear separation between the peninsular Spanish bovine populations and the two Majorcan varieties (Majorca Isle). Lastly, and as a summary or conclusion, it is important to indicate that the two varieties of the Majorcan breed studied represent the same genetic entity, and so in futures programs of conservation both varieties should be kept in mind.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-366
JournalRevista Cientifica de la Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias de la Universidad del Zulia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2002


  • Bovine
  • Extinction
  • Genetic resources
  • Genetic variability
  • Micro-satellite


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