Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




The genetic structure of 4 Turkish breeds of sheep, Gökçeada, Kıvırcık, Karacabey Merino, and Sakız (SZ), was analyzed by genotyping with 17 microsatellite markers in 250 individuals. The microsatellites showed high levels of polymorphism, with means for total and effective number of alleles per locus of 20.71 and 7.04, respectively. The average observed and expected heterozygosity values were 0.66 and 0.87, respectively. It was found that a higher level of breed admixture existed in the 4 breeds, which was an important finding. It was also found that 7.9% of genetic variation resulted from difference between the populations, whereas 92.1% resulted from difference between individuals. Our results showed that the used microsatellite markers were adequately polymorphic and can be successfully used for investigating genetic diversity in the 4 breeds studied. The genetic variation in Turkish breeds was not significantly higher than that of European breeds, which might be a consequence of the recent sharp decrease in sheep numbers.

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