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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Genomics and Improvement Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #290232

Title: African goat improvement project: A feed the future initiative harnessing genetic diversity for conservation, disease resistance, and improved productivity

item Huson, Heather
item Sonstegard, Tad
item Silverstein, Jeffrey
item SAYRE, BRIAN - Virginia State University
item Woodward-Greene, Jennifer
item ROTHSCHILD, MAX - Iowa State University
item NENE, VISH - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) - Kenya
item MUJIBI, DENIS - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) - Kenya
item KEMP, STEVE - International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) - Kenya
item MASIGA, CLET - Collaborator
item MUBIRU, SARAH - Collaborator
item GARCIA, FERNANDO - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item SOELKNER, JOHANN - Vienna University
item Van Tassell, Curtis - Curt

Submitted to: Lecture
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2013
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Food production systems in Africa depend heavily on the use of locally adapted animals. These animals are of agricultural, cultural, and economic importance to humans. Goats, in particular, are critical to the small-scale farmer as they are easier to acquire, maintain, and act as scavengers in sparse pasture and marginal crop regions. Indigenous goats, like cattle and sheep, have undergone generations of adaptation and genetic isolation or bottlenecks that have led to great phenotypic variation between populations. These indigenous goats serve as a genetic reservoir for the identification of genes important to environmental adaptation, disease resistance, and improved productivity under local conditions. Genetic differences associated with speciation, breed formation, or local adaptation can help inform efforts to preserve germplasm and be exploited in selection programs. This variability can be used to identifying regions of the goat genome responsible for differences through genome-wide association studies. This study provides a starting point for initiating genetic improvement and overall performance and productivity through enhanced breeding programs. The collection of DNA from individual goats within 9 African countries encompassing approximately 31 goat populations has been initiated. A standardized sampling protocol was developed to phenotype animals with GIS, physical body measurements, photo characterization, and anemia scoring. These individuals will be genotyped on the Illumina 50K Goat Beadchip. The central aim of this project is to encourage cooperative efforts to develop and apply genomic tools for the identification and preservation of locally adapted goat populations, and to leverage these collaborations to enhance African expertise in genomics. The long-term goal is to develop genetically superior adapted goats to help meet the demands of local food security.