Morphometric and genetic variation in 8 breeds of Ethiopian camels (Camelus dromedarius)

Yoseph W. Legesse, Christopher D. Dunn, Matthew R. Mauldin, Nicte Ordonez-Garza, Gage R. Rowden, Yoseph Mekasha Gebre, Mohammed Y. Kurtu, Seid Mohammed Ali, Wondmagegne D. Whibesilassie, Michael Ballou, Melaku Tefera, Gad Perry, Robert D. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4925-4934
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume96
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 3 2018

Keywords

  • Breeds
  • Camelus dromedarius
  • Morphometrics
  • Systematics

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    Legesse, Y. W., Dunn, C. D., Mauldin, M. R., Ordonez-Garza, N., Rowden, G. R., Gebre, Y. M., Kurtu, M. Y., Ali, S. M., Whibesilassie, W. D., Ballou, M., Tefera, M., Perry, G., & Bradley, R. D. (2018). Morphometric and genetic variation in 8 breeds of Ethiopian camels (Camelus dromedarius). Journal of animal science, 96(12), 4925-4934. https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky351