Dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) are a domesticated and closely guarded economic staple of indigenous people located throughout Ethiopian territorial states. Seventeen morphometric variables were examined to determine intraspecific variation among 8 pastoralist- designated breeds of camels. Additionally, DNA sequences from mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene and genotyping of 6 nuclear microsatellite loci were examined to assess genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationship of Ethiopian camels. Examination of 525 individuals revealed significant morphometric differentiation in Afar as compared with the remaining 7 breeds. Analysis of cytochrome-b sequences failed to recover monophyletic groups associated with pastoralist-recognized breeds. Analysis of 6 microsatellite loci from 104 individuals depicted no resolution of distinct genetic lineages in accordance to geographical or designated breeds. Overall, separation of 2 ecotypes based on the morphometric data was supported; however, genetic analysis of cytochrome-b and microsatellite data failed to support any unique genetic lineage or statistically significant population structure.
- Camelus dromedarius