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The genetic diversity of four protected indigenous chicken breeds was evaluated with 25 microsatellite markers. Polymorphism information content (PIC), heterozygosity with the estimator of genetic differentiation FST and Nei’s genetic distance were evaluated. The results showed that these four protected local chicken populations showed high levels of diversity. The proportion of inter-population subdivision among the four protected local chicken populations was 16.0%. The average heterozygosity was 0.514, 0.581, 0.567 and 0.589 in Dongan, Xuefeng black-bone, Xianghuang and Taoyuan chickens, respectively, while the average PIC estimates were 0.455, 0.581, 0.557 and 0.576. A phylogenetic tree was constructed using genetic distance and the neighbour-joining method. Its topology reflects the general pattern of genetic differentiation among the four chicken breeds. The results also showed high genetic diversity and genetic variation among all the breeds. The information about the four local breeds estimated by microsatellite analysis may be useful as an initial guide for the effective conservation of chicken genetic diversity and developing conservation strategies.
Keywords: Native chicken; genetic variation; microsatellite DNA