Genomic conservation of cattle microsatellite loci in wild gaur (Bos gaurus) and current genetic status of this species in Vietnam

Trung Thanh Nguyen; Sem Genini; Linh Chi Bui; Voegeli, Peter; Stranzinger, Gerald; Renard, Jean-Paul; Maillard, Jean-Charles; Bui Xuan Nguyen
January 2007
BMC Genetics;2007, Vol. 8, p77
Academic Journal
Background: The wild gaur (Bos gaurus) is an endangered wild cattle species. In Vietnam, the total number of wild gaurs is estimated at a maximum of 500 individuals. Inbreeding and genetic drift are current relevant threats to this small population size. Therefore, information about the genetic status of the Vietnamese wild gaur population is essential to develop strategies for conservation and effective long-term management for this species. In the present study, we performed cross-species amplification of 130 bovine microsatellite markers, in order to evaluate the applicability and conservation of cattle microsatellite loci in the wild gaur genome. The genetic diversity of Vietnamese wild gaur was also investigated, based on data collected from the 117 successfully amplified loci. Results: One hundred-thirty cattle microsatellite markers were tested on a panel of 11 animals. Efficient amplifications were observed for 117 markers (90%) with a total of 264 alleles, and of these, 68 (58.1%) gave polymorphic band patterns. The number of alleles per locus among the polymorphic markers ranged from two to six. Thirteen loci (BM1314, BM2304, BM6017, BMC2228, BMS332, BMS911, CSSM023, ETH123, HAUT14, HEL11, HEL5, ILSTS005 and INRA189) distributed on nine different cattle chromosomes failed to amplify wild gaur genomic DNA. Three cattle Ychromosome specific microsatellite markers (INRA124, INRA126 and BM861) were also highly specific in wild gaur, only displaying an amplification product in the males. Genotype data collected from the 117 successfully amplified microsatellites were used to assess the genetic diversity of this species in Vietnam. Polymorphic Information Content (PIC) values varied between 0.083 and 0.767 with a mean of 0.252 while observed heterozygosities (Ho) ranged from 0.091 to 0.909 (mean of 0.269). Nei's unbiased mean heterozygosity and the mean allele number across loci were 0.298 and 2.2, respectively. Conclusion: Extensive conservation of cattle microsatellite loci in the wild gaur genome, as shown by our results, indicated a high applicability of bovine microsatellites for genetic characterization and population genetic studies of this species. Moreover, the low genetic diversity observed in Vietnamese wild gaur further underlines the necessity of specific strategies and appropriate management plans to preserve this endangered species from extinction.


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