Summary We have analysed the genetic diversity of South and Central AmericanRadiation hybrid (SCA) goats by partially sequencing the mitochondrial control region of 93 individuals with a wide geographical distribution. Nucleotide and haplotype diversities reached values of 0.020 ± 0.00081 and 0.963 ± 0.0012 respectively. We have also observed a rather weak phylogeographic structure, with almost 69% of genetic variation included in the within-breed variance component. The topology of a median-joining network analysis including 286 European, Iberian, Atlantic and SCA mitochondrial sequences was very complex, with most of the haplotypes forming part of independent small clusters. SCA sequences showed a scattered distribution throughout the network, and clustering with Spanish and Portuguese sequences occurred only occasionally, not allowing the distinguishing of a clear Iberian signature. Conversely, we found a prominent cluster including Canarian, Chilean, Argentinian and Bolivian mitochondrial haplotypes. This result was independently confirmed by constructing a Bayesian phylogenetic tree (posterior probability of 0.97). Sharing of mitochondrial haplotypes by SCA and Canarian goats suggests that goat populations from the Atlantic archipelagos, where Spanish and Portuguese ships en route to the New World used to stow food and supplies, participated in the foundation of SCA caprine breeds. © 2009 International Society for Animal Genetics.
- South America