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University of KwaZulu-Natal (2021)

Genetic diversity and differentiation of pelt, mutton and wool sheep breeds of South Africa using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms

Dzomba, Edgar Farai

Titre : Genetic diversity and differentiation of pelt, mutton and wool sheep breeds of South Africa using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms

Auteur : Dzomba, Edgar Farai

Université de soutenance : University of KwaZulu-Natal

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Animal and Poultry Science 2021

Résumé partiel
Sheep, Ovis aries, are a versatile species that has, over hundreds of years, been adapted to South African environmental conditions resulting in more than 40 breeds that are raised for various objectives and production systems and constituting a population of close to 30 million animals. The South African sheep genetic resource presents unique and distinct phenotypes and genotypes that, put together, contribute to the global biodiversity observed in sheep that ought to be conserved and used for improved human livelihoods and economies. South Africa shares its sheep genetics with the global world, through both exportation and importation of germplasm. The broad objective of the study was to profile the genomic architecture of South African sheep populations to provide information for optimal utilization, conservation and improvement. Four hundred South African sheep belonging to 13 breeds of mutton, wool, dual purpose (mutton and wool), pelt and uncharacterised non-descript indigenous sheep were sampled and genotyped. In addition, 623 genotypes from the International Sheep Genomics Consortium representing European, Asian, African sheep breeds were subsampled. A series of statistical genomic analyses were pursued. In Chapter 3, genetic diversity, population genetic structure and divergence between South African sheep breeds was investigated using the OvineSNP50 Beadchip. A total of 400 sheep belonging to 13 breeds representing mutton, pelt and mutton and wool dual-purpose breeds and Nguni sheep as a representative of indigenous non-descript genotypes were genotyped. To gain a clearer understanding of the genetic diversity of South African breeds relative to other breeds, 623 genotypes from six African, two Asian and eight European breeds were included in the analyses. The study demonstrated low genetic diversity (HO ≤ 0.27) in small and geographically restricted populations of Namaqua Afrikaner ; Nguni, and Blackhead Persian relative to moderate to high diversity (HO ≥ 0.38) in Merino and Merino-derived commercial breeds (i.e. Dohne Merino, Australian Merino and Chinese Merino)

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