Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 1239–1246 | Cite as

Molecular characterization of Ethiopian indigenous goat populations

  • Halima HassenEmail author
  • Samer Lababidi
  • Barbara Rischkowsky
  • Michael Baum
  • Markos Tibbo
Original Research


Six Ethiopian indigenous goat populations viz. Gumuz, Agew, Begia-Medir, Bati, Abergelle, and Central Abergelle were genotyped for 15 microsatellite markers recommended by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Society for Animal Genetics. A total of 158 individual goats were tested to assess genetic variations within and between the goat populations in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. The markers revealed 100% polymorphism across six goat populations indicating the presence of genetic diversity, which is an important variable to measure genetic variability within and between populations. The mean observed and expected heterozygosity values ranged from 0.56 (Central Abergelle) to 0.68 (Bati) and 0.59 (Abergelle) to 0.69 (Agew goat), respectively. The lowest genetic distance was observed between Begia-Medir and Central Abergelle (0.039), and the largest distances between Agew and Abergelle (0.140) and Gumuz and Abergelle (0.169). Neighbor-joining and the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean methods with bootstrap value of 1,000 was used which grouped the six goat populations into two major groups viz. the Abergelle goat cluster as one group and the Agew, Gumuz, Bati, Begia-Medir, and Central Abergelle goats as the second group. In our study, the obtained higher total variation within the goat populations (95%) confirms a close relatedness of the studied goat ecotypes, which might have happened due to the existence of uncontrolled animal breeding strategies resulting from uncontrolled movement of animals through various market routes and agricultural extension systems. The study contributed to the genetic characterization of Ethiopian indigenous goat populations and demonstrated the usefulness of the 15 microsatellite makers for biodiversity studies in goats.


Ethiopia Indigenous goats Characterization Molecular markers 



The first author gratefully acknowledges the financial and technical support of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) fellowship program, Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia and ICARDA in Aleppo, Syria.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Halima Hassen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samer Lababidi
    • 1
  • Barbara Rischkowsky
    • 1
  • Michael Baum
    • 1
  • Markos Tibbo
    • 2
  1. 1.International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry AreasAleppoSyria
  2. 2.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Regional Office for the Near EastDokkiEgypt

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