Genetic diversity of the Northern Morocco goat population assessed with microsatellite markers

Najat El Moutchou, Ana M. González-Martínez, Mouad Chentouf, Khalid Lairini, Evangelina Rodero


The main goal of this work was to study the genetic diversity of the Northern Morocco goat population through the analysis of 19 microsatellites in 144 animals from 61 herds. To detect a possible population structure, three distinct geographic subpopulations were characterized as a function of climate and environmental influences. Most of the markers were highly polymorphic, and the results revealed considerable genetic variation across the studied loci. A total of 204 alleles were detected, with an average number of 10.7 per locus. The PIC average was 0.728, and four microsatellites showed a significant deviation (p< 0.05) from Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that only 0.5% of the variation corresponded to differences among subpopulations, and 99.5% corresponded to differences among individuals. Factorial correspondence analysis showed intense admixtures across the putative subpopulations, and the subdivision related to geographical or environmental adaptation was undetectable. The Northern Morocco goat population presented high genetic diversity and a lack of population structure. The main reason for these findings is the absence of the breed concept (reproductively closed population), resulting in uncontrolled crossbreeding with exotic breeds and other local goats.


animal genetic resources; local population; sustainable development

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2017153-9218