Genetic diversity and differentiation in Portuguese cattle breeds using microsatellites

J. C. Mateus, Cecilia Penedo, V. C. Alves, M. Ramos, T. Rangel-Figueiredo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Genotype data from 30 microsatellites were used to assess genetic diversity and relationships among 10 native Portuguese cattle breeds, American Charolais and the Brazilian Caracú. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was observed for all loci/population combinations except for five loci in Brava de Lide and one locus in Alentejana that exhibited heterozygote deficiency. Estimates of average observed and expected heterozygosities, total number of alleles (TNA) per breed and mean number of alleles (MNA) per locus/population were obtained. A total of 390 alleles were detected. TNA among Iberian cattle ranged from 170 to 237 and MNA ranged from 5.67 to 8.07. The highest observed heterozygosities were found in the Caracú, Maronesa, Garvonesa and Arouquesa and the lowest in Brava de Lide and Mirandesa. Estimation of population subdivision using Wright's FST index showed that the average proportion of genetic variation explained by breed differences was 9%. Neighbour-joining phylogenetic trees based on DA distances showed that the genetic relationships of present-day Portuguese native breeds are consistent with historical origins in the Brown Concave (Arouquesa, Mirandesa, Marinhoa) and Red Convex (Mertolenga, Alentejana, Garvonesa, Minhota) evolutionary groups. The Iberian Black Orthoide group, represented by Brava de Lide and Maronesa, and the Barrosã breed appeared to be more closely related to the Brown Concave group but may represent a separate lineage. The Caracú breed was not found to be closely associated with any of the native Portuguese breeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-113
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004


  • Genetic distance
  • Genetic diversity
  • Microsatellite
  • Portuguese cattle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic diversity and differentiation in Portuguese cattle breeds using microsatellites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this