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Genetic diversity and population structure of different varieties of Morada Nova hair sheep from Brazil

Author(s): J.S.B. Ferreira, S.R. Paiva, E.C. Silva, C.M. McManus, A.R. Caetano, D.A.E. Façanha and M.A.N. de Sousa

The aim of this study was to analyze genetic diversity and population structure among varieties of White (N = 40), Red (N = 32), and Black (N = 31) Morada Nova hair sheep from flocks in the northeastern Brazilian semiarid region. Fifteen nuclear microsatellite markers and two regions of mitochondrial DNA were used. The intra-population analysis demonstrated that the White variety had higher diversity, while the Red variety had the lowest values. The Bayesian analysis to assess the genetic population structure allowed differentiation between White, Red, and Black varieties, and revealed a tendency towards sub-structuring in the White variety flocks from the States of Ceará and Paraíba. The results of analyses of molecular variance showed that the greatest genetic structure was found when comparing flocks rather than varieties (8.59 vs 6.64% of the total variation