Nuclear and Mitochondrial Marker-Based Diversity and Population Structuring of Indian Goats

  • Sonika Ahlawat
  • Rekha Sharma


Indian subcontinent is endowed with diverse caprine germplasm that has evolved through natural selection for adaptation to various agro-climatic conditions. Goat genetic resources of India are represented by 26 defined breeds that represent only 30% of the total goat population and several unrecognized populations being referred to as non-descript. The awareness of the importance of this diversity at the phenotypic level calls for assessment of diversity at the genetic level. An understanding of the genetic structure and diversity of the breeds also unravels the relationship between their genetic makeup and performance as well as adaptability and disease resistance. Both microsatellite and mitochondrial markers have been instrumental in determination of overall magnitude of genetic diversity among and within breeds of different livestock species including goats. This chapter puts forth the current status of genetic characterization of Indian goats by these markers. Microsatellite-based analysis reveals high level of sharing of the gene pool among breeds of northwestern, southern peninsular, and eastern regions and their clear distinction from the breeds of temperate Himalayan region. Investigation of origin and divergence of Indian goats by mitochondrial DNA sequence-based analysis and comparison with wild goat sequences established the presence of five out of seven lineages known so far in goats from different parts of the globe. It is an established fact that an understanding of the genetic richness among populations is imperative for deciding their uniqueness and therefore prioritizing their conservation. Since only a handful of reports are available concerning the genetic relationships or distinctness of different Indian goat breeds, the time has come to carry out more comprehensive meta-analyses covering maximum available germplasm to reach a logical conclusion.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICAR-National Bureau of Animal Genetic ResourcesKarnalIndia

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