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Genetic characterization of the Burlina cattle breed using microsatellites markers

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The present study was a contribution on the genetic characterization of the Burlina local cattle breed, and an approach to understanding the relationships between Burlina, Holstein Friesian and Brown Swiss which represent the majority of the dairy cattle reared nowadays in North-East Italy. The obtained results helped to clarify the genetic diversity and distinctiveness of Burlina population. In particular, the low genetic distance between Burlina and Holstein Friesian and the assignment of a moderate percentage of Burlina animals to Holstein Friesian suggested that crosses between them took place in the past, while crosses with Brown Swiss seemed to be less frequent. However, analyses of marker genotypes, showed a cluster with only Burlina individuals, which demonstrates the genetic distinctness of this breed. The Burlina breed showed the highest variability among the analysed breeds and its inbreeding coefficient was low. The data contribute to the feasibility of a conservation and selection programme for this breed and the results are useful for the implementation of a conservation strategy that should aim to conserve animals where the contribution from foreign breeds is as small as possible.
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Keywords: Burlina; dairy cattle; genetic characterization; genetic diversity; microsatellite

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Animal Science, University of Padova, Agripolis, Italy 2:  Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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