Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 45, Issue 3–4, pp 195–209 | Cite as

Genetic Structure and Differentiation of Three Chinese Indigenous Cattle Populations

  • Yongjiang Mao
  • Hong ChangEmail author
  • Zhangping Yang
  • Liu Zhang
  • Ming Xu
  • Wei Sun
  • Guobin Chang
  • Guangming Song
Original Paper

Levels of genetic differentiation, gene flow, and genetic structure of three indigenous cattle populations (Luxi, Bohai, and Minnan) and two reference cattle populations (Chinese Holstein and Qinhai yak) in China were estimated using the information from 12 microsatellites, and 141 microsatellite alleles were identified. The mean number of alleles per locus ranged from 2.9005 in yak to 4.9722 in Holstein. The observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.5325 (yak) to 0.7719 (Holstein); 29 private alleles were detected. The global heterozygote deficit across all populations amounted to 58.5% (p < 0.001). The overall significant (p < 0.001) deficit of heterozygotes because of inbreeding within breeds amounted to 43.2%. The five cattle populations were highly differentiated (F st = 26.9%, p < 0.001) at all loci. The heterozygote deficit within the population was highest in Luxi cattle and lowest in yak. The average number of effective migrants exchanged per generation was highest (1.149) between Luxi and Holstein, and lowest (0.509) between Luxi and yak. With the application of prior population information, cluster analysis achieved posterior probabilities from 91% to 98% of correctly assigning individuals to populations. Combining the information of cluster analysis, gene flow, and Structure analysis, the five cattle populations belong to three genetic clusters, a taurine (Luxi and Chinese Holstein), a zebu (Bohai and Minnan), and a yak cluster. This indicates that Bohai black is closer to Bos indicus than Luxi cattle. The evolution and development of three indigenous cattle populations are discussed.


Genetic structure genetic differentiation Chinese indigenous cattle microsatellite 



This work was funded by the National High Technology 863 Project of China (No. 2002AA242011), Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (No. 30571323), and China Scholarship Council. The authors wish to thank the following organizations for help with sample collection: Luxi Breeding Farm, Lianshan Animal Production Co., Bohai Black Breeding Farm, Shandong Province, Animal Production and Veterinary Medicine Station of Fujian Province, Animal Production Bureau of Qinhai, Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Qinhai Province, Experimental Farm of Yangzhou University, Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongjiang Mao
    • 1
  • Hong Chang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhangping Yang
    • 1
  • Liu Zhang
    • 1
  • Ming Xu
    • 1
  • Wei Sun
    • 1
  • Guobin Chang
    • 1
  • Guangming Song
    • 1
  1. 1.Animal Science and Technology CollegeYangzhou UniversityYangzhouP.R. China

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