Genetic diversity of two Tunisian sheep breeds using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis
Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to study genetic diversity and population structure in six sheep populations belonging to two native Tunisian breeds (the Barbarine and the Western thin tail). A total of 96 samples were typed using eight RAPD primers. 62 bands were scored, of which 44 bands (70.97%) were polymorphic. For all populations, Nei’s gene diversity, Shannon index and percentage of polymorphic loci are respectively in the range of 0.17-0.25, 0.25 to 0.35, 43.55 to 53.23. Between breeds, higher heterozygosity value (0.24) was found within the Western thin tail breed. Using unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic average (UPGMA) dendrogram, the six populations clustered into two groups, each one contained populations of the same breed. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that the variation between breeds is 30.80%, and that the variation between populations of Barbarine breed and populations of Western thin tail breed are 6.06 and 11.83%, respectively.
Key words: Genetic diversity, RAPD, Tunisian sheep, Bioclimatic zones.