Genetic Differentiation among Nigerian Indigenous Goat Populations

O. A. Ojo, G. N. Akpa, M. Orunmuyi, I. A. Adeyinka


A total of 200 goats and 25 microsatellite markers proposed by the Food and Agricultural Organization and the International Society for Animal Genetics (FAO-ISAG) were used to determine the genetic diversity of three breeds of the Nigerian indigenous goats, namely Sahel (60), Red Sokoto (60), West African Dwarf (60) and one strain; Kano Brown (20). Genetic differentiation between the breeds and strain ranged from 0.011 to 0.037, and the least genetically differentiated populations were Kano Brown and Red Sokoto. Molecular variations were observed to be higher within populations (96%) than among populations (4%), which suggest higher heterozygosity within populations. This study showed that the Nigerian goats are admixed due to extensive cross-breeding and high gene flow amongst the breeds, and that the goats are geographically distributed in two major locations. Measures to conserve the uniqueness/distinctiveness of the Nigerian goat breeds should be sought, and gene flow between populations should be controlled by adopting effective breeding and management practices.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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