Genetic variability of dairy cattle breeds in Lithuania

  • Romualdas Lapickis
  • Loreta Griciuvienė
  • Asta Aleksandravičienė
  • Indrė Lipatova
  • Algimantas Paulauskas
Keywords: genetic variability, microsatellite, cattle


Large numbers of different scientific studies are conducted to preserve the breeds and improve the existing ones by introducing the variability of the plate genes, which best shows the phenotypic characteristics that can improve the health of dairy cattle and the quality of their production. The main purpose of this study was to perform an analysis of genetic variability of Lithuanian cattle breeds. Three subpopulation groups were studied: Lithuanian Black and White (95 individuals), Lithuanian Red (49), and Lithuanian White and Red (48). Bovine genetic material was genotyped using a total of 11 fluorescent microsatellite primers to estimate genetic variability. All loci presented a high degree of polymorphism and a total of 292 different alleles (Na) were detected. Thirty-two private alleles were detected in all evaluated subpopulations. After completing pairwise population assignment, which is based on the distribution of allelic frequencies, three populations showed the tendency to group into three separate clusters. However, the performed Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA), which is based on genetic distances, showed no anticipated clear grouping. Bayesian structure analysis revealed three genetic clusters. Analysis of FST (0.001–0.027) and Nei genetic distance (0.029–0.084) revealed that the genetic diversity of inter subpopulation in cattle groups was estimated to be lower than the genetic diversity of intra subpopulation.