The Afrikaner is one of three indigenous cattle breeds found in South Africa. To assess the level of genetic diversity in the breed, a genetic evaluation was initiated. The objective was to determine the genetic diversity of selected seed stock and commercial herds from the whole Afrikaner population and determine the genetic structure among these herds. Altogether 28 herds (1214 stud animals) and nine commercial herds (166 animals) were genotyped. A total of 11 polymorphic microsatellite markers: BM1824, BM2113, SPS115, ETH3, ETH10, ETH225, INRA23, TGLA53, TGLA122, TGLA126 and TGLA127 were used in the study. Assignment methods (based on STRUCTURE software) revealed a real structure consisting of four genetic populations (K=4). An overall heterozygosity estimate of 0.568 was detected for the Afrikaner breed. Estimates of genetic diversity did not support the hypothesis of significant loss of genetic diversity in the Afrikaner herd. 

Lené Pienaar

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Selection for harsh environments and management of animal genetic resources (Posters), , 434, 2014
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