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Molecular genetic diversity and maternal origin of Chinese black-bone chicken breeds

Author(s): W.Q. Zhu, H.F. Li, J.Y. Wang, J.T. Shu, C.H. Zhu, W.T. Song, C. Song, G.G. Ji and H.X. Liu

Chinese black-bone chickens are valued for the medicinal properties of their meat in traditional Chinese medicine. We investigated the genetic diversity and systematic evolution of Chinese black-bone chicken breeds. We sequenced the DNA of 520 bp of the mitochondrial cyt b gene of nine Chinese black-bone chicken breeds, including Silky chicken, Jinhu black-bone chicken, Jiangshan black-bone chicken, Yugan black-bone chicken, Wumeng black-bone chicken, Muchuan black-bone chicken, Xingwen black-bone chicken, Dehua black-bone chicken, and Yanjin black-bone chicken. We found 13 haplotypes. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity of the nine black-bone chicken breeds ranged from 0 to 0.78571 and 0.00081 to 0.00399, respectively. Genetic diversity was the richest in Jinhu black-bone chickens and the lowest in Yanjin black-bone chickens. Analysis of phylogenetic trees for all birds constructed based on hyplotypes indicated that the maternal origin of black-bone chickens is predominantly from three subspecies of red jungle fowl. These results provide basic data useful for protection of black-bone chickens and help determine the origin of domestic chickens.