Genetic and morphological characterisation of the Ankole Longhorn cattle in the African Great Lakes region

  • Deo B Ndumu1, 2, 3,

    Affiliated with

    • Roswitha Baumung1Email author,

      Affiliated with

      • Olivier Hanotte3,

        Affiliated with

        • Maria Wurzinger1,

          Affiliated with

          • Mwai A Okeyo3,

            Affiliated with

            • Han Jianlin3, 4,

              Affiliated with

              • Harrison Kibogo3 and

                Affiliated with

                • Johann Sölkner1

                  Affiliated with

                  Genetics Selection Evolution200840:467

                  DOI: 10.1186/1297-9686-40-5-467

                  Received: 17 July 2007

                  Accepted: 30 April 2008

                  Published: 15 September 2008


                  The study investigated the population structure, diversity and differentiation of almost all of the ecotypes representing the African Ankole Longhorn cattle breed on the basis of morphometric (shape and size), genotypic and spatial distance data. Twentyone morphometric measurements were used to describe the morphology of 439 individuals from 11 sub-populations located in five countries around the Great Lakes region of central and eastern Africa. Additionally, 472 individuals were genotyped using 15 DNA microsatellites. Femoral length, horn length, horn circumference, rump height, body length and fore-limb circumference showed the largest differences between regions. An overall F ST index indicated that 2.7% of the total genetic variation was present among sub-populations. The least differentiation was observed between the two sub-populations of Mbarara south and Luwero in Uganda, while the highest level of differentiation was observed between the Mugamba in Burundi and Malagarasi in Tanzania. An estimated membership of four for the inferred clusters from a model-based Bayesian approach was obtained. Both analyses on distance-based and model-based methods consistently isolated the Mugamba sub-population in Burundi from the others.

                  Ankole Longhorn cattle microsatellite geometric morphometric genetic distance spatial distance

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                  Authors’ Affiliations

                  Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, BOKU-University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences
                  Animal Industry and Fisheries, Directorate of Animal Resources, Ministry of Agriculture
                  International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
                  CAAS-ILRI Joint Laboratory on Livestock and Forage Genetic Resources, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)


                  © INRA, EDP Sciences 2008