Genetic relationships were analysed by means of heterozygosities and genetic distances between 24 cattle breeds, including five indigenous breeds. Allelic frequencies were obtained from three polymorphic protein and eight red cell antigen loci. The genetic diversity was on average much larger in the indigenous breeds than in breeds originating from Europe and Asia, although considerable allele variation was found in some of these breeds. Some unusual electrophoretic variants were observed for Sanga and Zebu breeds which imply upgrading in both indigenous and exotic breeds. A big genetic distance was found between the indigenous and exotic beef breeds. The formation of two large clusters was observed, apart from the Brahman and the Afrikaner which seemed to have separated earlier from the hypothetical common trunk. These phylogenetic methods provide some unique global perspectives on the hierarchical relationship between African, European and Asian cattle breeds.

A. Kotze, G. H Muller

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 21. Gene mapping; polymorphisms; disease genetic markers; marker assisted selection; gene expression; transgenes; non-convention, , 413–416, 1994
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