Free Access
Genet. Sel. Evol.
Volume 40, Number 5, September-October 2008
Page(s) 467 - 490
Published online 12 August 2008
Genet. Sel. Evol. 40 (2008) 467-490
DOI: 10.1051/gse:2008014

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

Deo B. Ndumu1, 2, 3, Roswitha Baumung1, Olivier Hanotte3, Maria Wurzinger1, Mwai A. Okeyo3, Han Jianlin3, 4, Harrison Kibogo3 and Johann Sölkner1

1  Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, BOKU-University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
2  Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Directorate of Animal Resources, P.O. Box 513, Entebbe, Uganda
3  International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
4  CAAS-ILRI Joint Laboratory on Livestock and Forage Genetic Resources, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Beijing 100094, China

Received 17 July 2007; accepted 30 April 2008; published online 12 August 2008

Abstract - 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 FST 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.

Key words: Ankole Longhorn cattle / microsatellite / geometric morphometric / genetic distance / spatial distance

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2008