Analysis of genetic diversity and differentiation of sheep populations in Jordan|
Al-Atiyat, Raed Mahmoud; Salameh, Naser M. & Tabbaa, Mohammad J.
Background: Genetic diversity of sheep in Jordan was investigated using microsatellite markers (MS). Six ovine
and bovine MS located on chromosomes 2 and 6 of sheep genome were genotyped on 294 individual from ten
Results: The number of alleles per locus (A), the expected heterozygosity (He) and observed heterozygosity (Ho)
were measured. Overall A, He and Ho were 12.67, 0.820 and 0.684, respectively. On the other hand, genetic distances
undoubtedly revealed the expected degree of differentiation among the studied populations. The finding showed
closeness of three populations fromsouth (Maan, Showbak and Tafeilah) to each other. Populations from themiddle
regions of Jordan (Karak, Madaba, Amman, AzZarqa and Mafraq) were found to be in one cluster. Only two
populations of the middle region were an exception: AlSalt and Dead Sea. Finally, sheep populations from Irbid
were located in separated cluster. It was clear that the studied predefined populations were subdivided from four
populations and would be most probably accounted as ancestral populations. These results indicate that number
of population is less than the predefined population as ten based on geographical sampling areas.
Conclusions: The possible inference might be that geographical location, genetic migration, similar selection forces,
and common ancestor account for population admixture and subdivision of Awassi sheep breed in Jordan. Finally,
the present study sheds new light on themolecular and population genetics of Awassi sheep fromdifferent regions
of Jordan and to utilize the possible findings for future management of genetic conservation under conditions of
climate changes and crossbreeding policy.
Awassi sheep; DNA microsatellite; Genetic diversity and differentiation