Genetic Contribution of Indigenous Yakutian Cattle to Two Hybrid Populations, Revealed by Microsatellite Variation
Indigenous Yakutian cattle' adaptation to the hardest subarctic conditions makes them a valuable genetic resource for cattle breeding in the Siberian area. Since early last century, crossbreeding between native Yakutian cattle and imported Simmental and Kholmogory breeds has been widely adopted. In this study, variations at 22 polymorphic microsatellite loci in 5 populations of Yakutian, Kholmogory, Simmental, Yakutian-Kholmogory and Yakutian-Simmental cattle were analysed to estimate the genetic contribution of Yakutian cattle to the two hybrid populations. Three statistical approaches were used: the weighted least-squares (WLS) method which considers all allele frequencies; a recently developed implementation of a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method called likelihood-based estimation of admixture (LEA); and a model-based Bayesian admixture analysis method (STRUCTURE). At population-level admixture analyses, the estimate based on the LEA was consistent with that obtained by the WLS method. Both methods showed that the genetic contribution of the indigenous Yakutian cattle in Yakutian-Kholmogory was small (9.6% by the LEA and 14.2% by the WLS method). In the Yakutian-Simmental population, the genetic contribution of the indigenous Yakutian cattle was considerably higher (62.8% by the LEA and 56.9% by the WLS method). Individual-level admixture analyses using STRUCTURE proved to be more informative than the multidimensional scaling analysis (MDSA) based on individual-based genetic distances. Of the 9 Yakutian-Simmental animals studied, 8 showed admixed origin, whereas of the 14 studied Yakutian-Kholmogory animals only 2 showed Yakutian ancestry (>5%). The mean posterior distributions of individual admixture coefficient (q) varied greatly among the samples in both hybrid populations. This study revealed a minor existing contribution of the Yakutian cattle in the Yakutian-Kholmogory hybrid population, but in the Yakutian-Simmental hybrid population, a major genetic contribution of the Yakutian cattle was seen. The results reflect the different crossbreeding patterns used in the development of the two hybrid populations. Additionally, molecular evidence for differences among individual admixture proportions was seen in both hybrid populations, resulting from the stochastic process in crossing over generations.
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