Phenotypic characterisation and molecular polymorphism of indigenous poultry populations of the species Gallus gallus of Savannah and Forest ecotypes of Benin
AbstractThe study of the phenotypic characterisation and molecular polymorphism of local chicken populations was carried out in Benin on 326 chickens of the Forest ecological area and 316 of the Savannah ecological area, all were 7 months old at least. The collection of blood for the molecular typing was
achieved on 121 indigenous chickens of which 60 from the Savannah ecological area and 61 from the Forest ecological area. The genotyping was carried out for 22 microsatellite loci. Weight and body measures of the Savannah chickens were significantly higher (P < 0.001) than those of the Forest chickens. In the Savannah ecological area, the most frequent plumage colours were the black (22.15%), the white (19.62%), the coppery black (7.59%) and the golden partridge (7.59%). In the Forest area, the
fawn (15.34%), the black (10.43%), the white (6.8%), the silver white (6.8%) and the golden partridge (6.75%) were the dominant feather colours. Thus, phenotypic characterisation showed significant differences between Savannah and Forest local chickens. The FST calculated between the Savannah and Forest populations revealed a low genetic differentiation and the dendogram showed that Savannah and Forest chickens were quite intermingled. In conclusion, local populations from Savannah and
Forest area may be considered as ecotypes, but not as two distinct breeds.