Red Sindhi cattle in Brazil: population structure and distribution.
The Red Sindhi cattle breed was imported to Brazil in small numbers. Nowadays, the herds of this breed are distributed in the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest regions of the country. In this study, DNA samples of animals originating from 15 herds in the Northeast and Southeast regions have been analyzed to obtain the ancestry proportions, and to gain a better understanding of the current population structure of this breed in Brazil. Samples were genotyped using three different single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker panels. Those markers have been used with the approach of unsupervised hierarchical clustering of individuals, and consequently, the ancestry of the population was divided into six different subpopulations. Three of those ancestry subpopulations were identified to be present in various different herds, while the other three were restricted to only one or two herds each. One of those herds has been kept isolated for more than 30 years, and it was identified to contain two almost exclusive subpopulations. To avoid important losses in the genetic diversity within the Red Sindhi breed in Brazil, we recommend the identification of superior sires from every subpopulation in the establishment of a breeding program for this breed.