: Along with environmental adaptation, breed hybridization has contributed to the array of coat color phenotypes observed today among Ethiopian cattle populations. Breeds adapted to lowland agroecology (Ogaden, and Begait) display coats that are white, gray, and a combination of white and black with different levels of spotting. In contrast, breeds adapted to high-altitude environments, such as Arado, and Guraghe, mainly display coats that are solid black, red, brown, or a mixture of various colors. We compared Ethiopian cattle populations characterized by heterogeneous coat color phenotype for the MITF locus identified from the 80K indicus SNP chip. When comparing spotted and unspotted populations, we detected a significant (P < 0.01) and high level of genetic differentiation (Fst = 0.17), which indicated that the MITF locus may influence the observed coat color variations among Ethiopian cattle populations adapted to different ecological conditions.
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), , 415, 2014
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