Genetic relationship among Nigerian indigenous sheep populations using blood protein polymorphism

M. Akinyemi , A. Salako
Abstract. This investigetion was carried out to study the genetic relationship among three Nigerian indigenous sheep breeds, namely Balami, Uda and Yankassa using blood protein markers. Blood samples were obtained from a total of one hundred and twenty adult animals (40 per breed) of both sexes, and their protein polymorphism was investigated using cellulose acetate electrophoresis. Three loci (haemoglobin, transferrin and carbonic anhydrase) were examined. Based on the estimated allele frequencies, the populations were characterized for their genetic variability using heterozygosity (H), number of alleles (Na) and genetic distance (D) among the breeds. The estimates of heterozygosity were 0.383, 0.283 and 0.383 for Balami, Uda and Yankassa, respectively. While nine alleles were each reported for Balami and Uda, ten alleles were obtained for their Yankassa counterparts. The closest genetic relationship was found between the Balami and Yankassa sheep (D=0.008), while Uda sheep and their Balami counterparts were more distant apart (D=0.175). The relationship among the three genetic groups was consolidated by the dendrogram that emanated from their genetic distances. The present information may be exploited in formulating appropriate management and conservation strategies for Nigerian indigenous sheep.