African sheep, like other domestic sheep, are domesticatedfrom the Asiatic mouflon (Ovis orientalis). They entered the continentthrough the North and the Horn of Africa regions followingmaritime and terrestrial trading routes. Ethiopia is one of the mainentry points of various plant and animal domesticates into Africa.It is characterised by diverse agro-ecologies, ancient human ethnicdiversity and the presence of indigenous sheep breeds/populationsof unprecedented morphological diversity (e.g. tail types). Here, weinvestigate the genome diversity and population structure of 146unrelated animals from 11 Ethiopian indigenous sheep populations.DNA was extracted from ear tissue punches and genotyped with theIllumina Ovine 50K SNP BeadChip assay. Sheep populations fromThe Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and China as well as fromwestern, northern and southern Africa were included to clarify thegenetic history of origin, introduction and dispersal of the speciesinto Ethiopia. Principal component analysis (PCA), clearly separatedall Ethiopian sheep from the other populations. Population structureand phylogenetic (neighbour-joining tree) analysis subdividedthe Ethiopian indigenous sheep into three genetic clusters correspondingto their tail morphology (rump fat-tailed, short fat-tailedand long fat/thin-tailed population). It supports a common genetic ancestry for populations of each tail type in the country. Genetic distancesamong the Ethiopian populations were positively correlatedwith geographic distances (Mantel test, P < 0.001, r = 0.465) and thehighest genetic diversity was recorded in the fat-tailed (short, rumpand/or long fat-tailed) close to the Bab-el-Mandeb strait. However,despite their distinct morphology and separate geographic distribution,little genetic differentiation between Ethiopian populations areobserved. This is most likely a consequence of their ancient andmodern intermixing following their introduction into the country.
|Numero di pagine||1|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2017|