Genetic Variation of Some Goat Populations in Ethiopia by Means of Blood Protein Polymorphism


  • Addis Simachew Institute of Biotechnology
  • Endashaw Berhanu Department of Microbial


Afar goat, Ethiopia, Hararghe goat, Western Highland goat, Western Lowland goat


Genetic variability of 298 individuals from four indigenous
goat types (Afar, Hararghe Highland, Western Highland and Western
Lowland of Ethiopia), two exotic breeds (Toggenburg and Anglo-Nubian)
and three crossbreed populations (crosses between the exotic breeds and
Hararghe Highland and Somali goat types) were investigated. The red blood
cell lysates and plasma proteins were analyzed by starch gel electrophoresis.
From a total of five loci studied, two were found to be polymorphic. Two
alleles were detected at each of Haemoglobin (Hb) and Transferrin (Tf) loci.
Only one allele was detected at each of the loci Carbonic anhydrase (CA),
Albumin (Al) and Post Transferrin (PTF) in all the populations of goats
studied. In most cases, the observed genotypic frequencies were not
significantly different from that expected under the Hardy-Weinburg
equilibrium. The proportion of polymorphic loci (P%) varied between 20.0%
and 40.0%, with mean number of alleles per locus between 1.2 and 1.4, and
expected heterozygosities (HE) between 0.030 and 0.177 while mean
observed heterozygosities (HO) were between 0.032 to 0.217. Among the
three groups of goat populations, higher variability was found in crossbred
populations. Afar goat type was more variable (HO=6.7%) among the
indigenous goat types. Cluster analysis based on Nei’s standard genetic
distance and the unweighted pair-group method using arithmetic averages
(UPGMA) revealed low level of genetic distance among populations. The
results indicated a higher proportion of genetic variation between