Genetic diversity and distance between two Bulgarian local sheep breeds assessed by microsatellite markers

S. Georgieva, E. Todorovska, D. Hristova, I. Dimitrova, N. Stancheva, Ts. Yablanski
Abstract. In the present study 37 blood samples from Copper-Red Shumen and 38 blood samples from Karakachan sheep breeds were used to extract DNA followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Based on the set of six microsatellite markers the genetic diversity was investigated in the examined breeds. Allele diversity, observed heterozygosity, expected heterozygosity, average gene diversity over loci, coefficient of inbreeding and chi-square test for Hardy- Weinberg equilibrium were calculated. Within breeds, the mean number of alleles varied from 9.5 in Karakachan to 10.5 in Copper-Red Shumen. The mean observed heterozygosity (Ho) ranged from 0.543 in Karakachan to 0.621 in Copper-Red Shumen, while the mean expected heterozygosity (He) from 0.774 in Karakachan to 0.812 in Copper-Red Shumen.The coefficient of inbreeding (Fis) was positive, ranging from 0.298 in Karakachan to 0.235 in Copper-Red shumen, indicating a risk of inbreeding. The low distance value (0.083) was found between the populations Karakachan and Copper-Red Shumen. The data obtained in the present study can contribute towards development of an effective conservation strategies for these traditional sheep breeds in Bulgaria.