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Anim Genet. 2007 Dec;38(6):576-83. Epub 2007 Oct 11.

Genetic diversity within chicken populations from different continents and management histories.

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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences & Genetics, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Intra-population variation was assessed in 1970 chickens from 64 populations using 29 autosomal microsatellites. On average, 95% of the loci were polymorphic across populations. In 1456 (c. 83%) of the 1763 combinations of populations and polymorphic loci, no departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was observed. On average, there were 11.4 alleles per locus and 3.6 alleles per population across loci. Within populations, the average observed heterozygote frequency was 0.46, with a range between 0.20 and 0.64. Dagu, a Chinese population, and the Red Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus gallus) had the highest average heterozygote frequencies at 0.64 and 0.63 respectively. An inbred line used as a reference population for comparison showed the lowest average of observed heterozygote frequency (0.05), followed by the European population Hamburger Lackhuhn, whose average observed heterozygote frequency was 0.20. A total of 32 private alleles (alleles detected in only one population) for 20 loci were found in 18 populations. H'mong chickens, a Vietnamese population, carried the largest number of private alleles at five, followed by the Red Jungle Fowl with four private alleles. Genetic diversity within populations was low in the NW European fancy breeds and high in the non-commercial Asian populations, in agreement with population management history.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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