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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.20.0378    [Accepted] Published online August 30, 2020.
Genetic structure and diversity of Santa Inês sheep flocks in Brazilian Mid-North
Alzira Regina Silva de Deus1  , Geice Ribeiro Silva2  , Luciano Silva Sena2  , Fábio Barros Britto3  , Débora Araújo de Carvalho2  , Jorge Victor Gomes de Freitas4  , José Lindenberg Rocha Sarmento5,* 
1Graduate Program in Animal Science, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI 64049-550, Brazil
2Animal Science, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI 64049-550, Brazil
3Department of Biology, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI 64049-550, Brazil
4Undergraduate course in Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI 64049-550, Brazil
55Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI 64049-550, Brazil
Correspondence:  José Lindenberg Rocha Sarmento, Tel: +55-89-9-9977-4911, Fax: +55-86-3215-5740, Email: sarmento@ufpi.edu.br
Received: 1 June 2020   • Revised: 1 July 2020   • Accepted: 10 August 2020
Abstract
Objective
The genetic structure and diversity of Santa Inês sheep flocks from the Mid-North sub-region of Brazil were assessed using microsatellite markers.
Methods
A total of 257 DNA samples from animals raised in six farms were genotyped using a panel of 20 microsatellite loci. Different programs were used to assess the influence of null alleles on genetic differentiation estimates, the probability of loci being under selection, and to calculate different parameters to assess the genetic variability and the power of markers to determine the kinship among flocks. Deviations from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and linkage disequilibrium were tested using the R package genepop. A Bayesian clustering analysis was performed using the STRUCTURE program. The R packages poppr, adegenet, ape, polysat, and ggplot2 were used to construct a dendrogram and perform the principal coordinates analysis (PCoA). The Wilcoxon sign-rank test was conducted to detect population bottlenecks. Network graphics were constructed to assess the bidirectional distribution of the gene flow among flocks.
Results
The average values obtained for the number of alleles per locus, expected heterozygosity (He), polymorphism information content (PIC), discriminatory capacity, the combined probability of identity, and the probability of exclusion for the markers were 15.4, 0.886, 0.877, 0.954, 0.025, and 0.920, respectively. The lowest degree of genetic variability was observed in Farm 6, i.e. He (0.700), PIC (0.653), and allelic richness (Ar) (3.760), whereas Farm 1 had the highest values of He (0.890), PIC (0.882), and Ar (4.690). Signals of genetic bottleneck and moderate genetic differentiation were observed in all flocks. The migration rates in all flocks were high, with a trend towards Farm 1.
Conclusion
There is moderate structuring and high genetic diversity in the flocks evaluated. It is necessary to review the management strategies, because of the signals of bottleneck and genetic erosion.
Keywords: Conservation; Genetic Improvement; Genetic Variability; Hair Sheep; Microsatellites


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