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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361043

Research Project: National Animal Germplasm Program

Location: Agricultural Genetic Resources Preservation Research

Title: New world goat populations are a genetically diverse reservoir for future use

item PAIM, TIAGO - University Of Brasilia
item FARIA, DANIELLE - University Of Brasilia
item Hay, El Hamidi
item MCMANUS, CONCEPTA - University Of Brasilia
item LANARI, MARIA - National Institute Of Agropecuarian Technology (INTA)
item ESQUIVEL, LAURA - National University
item CASCANTE, MARIA - National University
item ALFARO, ESTEBAN - National University
item MENDEZ, ARGERIE - Instituto Nacional Innovacion Y Transferencia En Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA)
item FACO, OLIVARDO - Embrapa
item SILVA, KLEIBE - Embrapa
item MEZZADRA, CARLOS - National Institute Of Agropecuarian Technology (INTA)
item MARIANTE, ARTHUR - Embrapa
item PAVIA, SAMUEL - Embrapa
item Blackburn, Harvey

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2018
Publication Date: 2/6/2019
Citation: Paim, T.P., Faria, D.A., Hay, E.A., McManus, C., Lanari, M.R., Esquivel, L.C., Cascante, M.I., Alfaro, E.J., Mendez, A., Faco, O., Silva, K.D., Mezzadra, C., Mariante, A., Pavia, S.R., Blackburn, H.D. 2019. New world goat populations are a genetically diverse reservoir for future use. Scientific Reports. 9(1):1476.

Interpretive Summary: Goats in North and South America originated from Europe, Africa and Central Asia, however it was unclear how much genetic diversity is present in the western hemisphere populations. Determining the abundance of genetic diversity provides insights into the relative ease goat producers can modify selection to improve productivity or adaptability to environmental challenges. The goats breeds evaluated consisted of breeds from: U.S. (Spanish, Angora, Boer, and Lamancha), Brazil (Caninde and Moxoto), Costa Rica (Saanen), and Argentina (C. Neuquino, Angora, Riojano, Formosena, and Pampeana). In addition, genotypes were obtained from public databases on goats from Iran, South Africa and Morocco, plus a wild progenitor Capra aegagrus to better identify genetic linkages and measure diversity. Results suggest substantial levels of genetic diversity exist among western hemisphere goat populations. Importantly it was demonstrated that new world breeds, such as the U.S. Spanish goat, are extremely diverse and more closely associated with goat populations sampled near the center of domestication. This result suggests previous assumptions concerning the loss of genetic diversity as geographic distance increases from the center of domestication is not correct for goats. Also the results demonstrated that the concept of breed is not an important for landrace type breeds such as the U.S. Spanish and Argentina populations studied; which impact conservation strategies.

Technical Abstract: Goats in western hemisphere have European, African and Central Asian origins. Local or rare breeds are reported to be well adapted to their environments and some of them are economically important. However, for most populations their genetic resources have not been capitalized upon. We evaluated 50K SNP genotypes of 244 animals from 12 goat populations in United States, Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina. Analyses of genetic diversity and structure as well as the observed selective sweeps documented the history of goat migration to the “New World”, recent admixtures between these goat populations and the diversity extant in America. Our findings suggest the concept of breed, particularly among “locally adapted” breeds is not a meaningful way to characterize goat populations. US Spanish goats, for example, seem to be an important genetic reservoir, sharing genomic composition with the wild ancestor and with specialized breeds (e.g. Angora, Lamancha and Saanen). In general, the goats in America have substantial genetic diversity to use in selection and promote environmental adaptation or product driven specialization. These findings highlight the importance of maintaining goat conservation programs and suggest an awaiting reservoir of genetic diversity for breeding and research discarding concerns about breed designations.