Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #312262

Title: Genetic structure of goat breedsfrom Brazil and the United States: Implications for conservation and breeding programs

item CARVALHO, C - Labex - Embrapa
item PAIVA, SAMUEL - Embrapa-Labex
item ARAUJO, A - Embrapa-Labex
item MARIANTE, A - Embrapa
item Blackburn, Harvey

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2015
Publication Date: 10/9/2015
Citation: Carvalho, C.M., Paiva, S., Araujo, A., Mariante, A., Blackburn, H.D. 2015. Genetic structure of goat breedsfrom Brazil and the United States: Implications for conservation and breeding programs. Journal of Animal Science. 93:4629-4636.

Interpretive Summary: Evaluating the genetic diversity of goat breeds from the U.S. and Brazil provides insight into how genetically different these breeds are among and between countries. In addition this information can be used to better plan conservation programs and breeding programs. The results from this research indicate that all of the goat breeds evaluated had high levels of heterozgosity. Interestingly it was determined that the U. S. Spanish breed was genetically similar with a Brazilian breed (Nambi) suggesting they have a common ancestral breed from when Spain and/or Portugal was colonizing the new world. When breeds were pooled within country and analyzed the results suggest that the two countries goat population were similar. This finding opens new opportunities for further exploration into goat population resilience under harsh climatic conditions and low input agriculture.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to assess genetic diversity among five Brazilian (BR) (155 animals) and five United States (US) goat (120 animals) breeds. Samples from the US represented a broad geographic distribution, while BR samples were from the north east region. Expected and observed heterozygosity among breeds ranged from 0.55 to 0.72, suggesting ample genetic diversity in the populations evaluated. Angora, Spanish and Nambi ranked highest for allelic richness, averaging 6.1, 7.1 and 6.5 alleles per locus, respectively. Angora and Spanish also ranked highest in private alleles (7 and 9, respectively). The Spanish were also found to share common alleles with BR Nambi which suggests that progenitor populations for these breeds may have been the same and pasted through the Canary Islands or Cape Verde. Evaluation of breeds pooled within country (and Boers placed in a third group) had a Fst = 0.05. The lack of genetic differentiation and the low input environments, where goats are produced, suggest breeds may exhibit phenotypic plasticity and therefore they may be productive across a wide range of countries and production systems.