Genetic variation of some goat populations in Ethiopia by means of blood protein polymorphism

  • A Simachew
  • E Bekele
Keywords: Afar goat, Ethiopia, Hararghe goat, Western Highland goat, Western Lowland goat.


Genetic variability of 298 individuals from four indigenous goat types (Afar, Hararghe Highland, Western Highland and Western Lowland of Ethiopia), two exotic breeds (Toggenburg and Anglo-Nubian) and three crossbreed populations (crosses between the exotic breeds and Hararghe Highland and Somali goat types) were investigated. The red blood cell lysates and plasma proteins were analyzed by starch gel electrophoresis. From a total of five loci studied, two were found to be polymorphic. Two alleles were detected at each of Haemoglobin (Hb) and Transferrin (Tf) loci. Only one allele was detected at each of the loci Carbonic anhydrase (CA), Albumin (Al) and Post Transferrin (PTF) in all the populations of goats studied. In most cases, the observed genotypic frequencies were not significantly different from that expected under the Hardy-Weinburg equilibrium. The proportion of polymorphic loci (P%) varied between 20.0% and 40.0%, with mean number of alleles per locus between 1.2 and 1.4, and expected heterozygosities (HE) between 0.030 and 0.177 while mean observed heterozygosities (HO) were between 0.032 to 0.217. Among the three groups of goat populations, higher variability was found in crossbred populations. Afar goat type was more variable (HO=6.7%) among the indigenous goat types. Cluster analysis based on Nei’s standard genetic distance and the unweighted pair-group method using arithmetic averages (UPGMA) revealed low level of genetic distance among populations. The results indicated a higher proportion of genetic variation between populations. 

Keywords: Afar goat, Ethiopia, Hararghe goat, Western Highland goat, Western Lowland goat.


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eISSN: 1819-8678