The availability of genotyping assays has allowed the detailed evaluation of cattle genetic diversity worldwide. However, these comprehensive studies did not include some local European populations, including autochthonous Italian cattle. In this study, we assembled a large-scale, genome-wide dataset of single nucleotide polymorphisms scored in 3,283 individuals from 205 cattle populations worldwide to assess genome-wide autozygosity and understand better the genetic relationships among these populations. We prioritized European cattle, with a special focus on Italian breeds. Moderate differences in estimates of molecular inbreeding calculated from runs of homozygosity (FROH) were observed among domesticated bovid populations from different geographic areas, except for Bali cattle. Our findings indicated that some Italian breeds show the highest estimates of levels of molecular inbreeding among the cattle populations assessed in this study. Patterns of genetic differentiation, shared ancestry, and phylogenetic analysis all suggested the occurrence of gene flow, particularly among populations originating from the same geographical area. For European cattle, we observed a distribution along three main directions, reflecting the known history and formation of the analyzed breeds. The Italian breeds are split into two main groups, based on their historical origin and degree of conservation of ancestral genomic components. The results pinpointed that also Sicilian breeds, much alike Podolian derived-breeds, in the past experienced a similar non-European influence, with African and indicine introgression.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
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