Determination of ancestral proportions in synthetic bovine breeds using commonly employed microsatellite markers

H.M.S. Bicalho, C.G. Pimenta, I.K.P. Mendes, H.B. Pena, E.M. Queiroz, S.D.J. Pena
Published July 13, 2006
Genet. Mol. Res. 5 (3): 432-437 (2006)

About the authors
H.M.S. Bicalho, C.G. Pimenta, I.K.P. Mendes, H.B. Pena, E.M. Queiroz, S.D.J. Pena

Corresponding author
S.D.J. Pena


The International Society of Animal Genetics (ISAG)has chosen nine microsatellites (international marker set) as a standardthat should be included in all cattle parentage studies. They are BM1824,BM2113, INRA023, SPS115, TGLA122, TGLA126, TGLA227, ETH10,and ETH225. We decided to ascertain whether this microsatellite set could be used to determine ancestral proportions in individual animals of synthetic breeds produced by crossing zebu and taurine cattle. Since the genotypes of these markers are routinely available, this would constitute a practical and cost-free method to estimate the ancestry of synthetic breed animals. Genotypes of 100 Gir and 100 Holstein animals were examined for this ISAG marker set. As expected, there were very significant allele frequency differences between the two breeds at most loci. We also typed 20 Girolando animals for which there was complete genealogical information. “Structure” software  easily distinguished Holstein and Gir animals based on their microsatellite genotypes; it also attributed the genomic proportion of zebu and taurine of each of the 20Girolando animals. The proportion of Holstein ancestry was then regressed on the genealogical data; there was a highly significant correlation (r = 0.84, P < 0.0001). The nine microsatellites that compose the ISAG international marker set were capable of estimating the ancestralGir and Holstein genomic proportions in individual Girolando animals within narrow confidence limits. This microsatellite set might also be useful for estimating the proportions of taurine and zebu origins in commercial meat products.

Key words: Microsatellites, Ancestry, Taurine, Zebu, Synthetic breed

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