Local livestock breeds play a crucial role in global biodiversity, connecting natural and human-influenced environments and contributing significantly to ecosystem services. While commercial breeds dominate industrial systems, local livestock breeds in developing countries, like Barbarine sheep in Tunisia, are vital for food security and community maintenance. The Tunisian Barbarine sheep, known for its adaptability and distinctive fat-tailed morphology, faces challenges due to historical crossbreeding. In this study, the Illumina Ovine SNP50K BeadChip array was used to perform a genome-wide characterization of Tunisian Barbarine sheep to investigate its genetic diversity, the genome structure, and the relationship within the context of Mediterranean breeds. The results show moderate genetic diversity and low inbreeding. Runs of Homozygosity analysis find genomic regions linked to important traits, including fat tail characteristics. Genomic relationship analysis shows proximity to Algerian thin-tailed breeds, suggesting crossbreeding impacts. Admixture analysis reveals unique genetic patterns, emphasizing the Tunisian Barbarine’s identity within the Mediterranean context and its closeness to African breeds. Current results represent a starting point for the creation of monitoring and conservation plans. In summary, despite genetic dilution due to crossbreeding, the identification of genomic regions offers crucial insights for conservation. The study confirms the importance of preserving unique genetic characteristics of local breeds, particularly in the face of ongoing crossbreeding practices and environmental challenges. These findings contribute valuable insights for the sustainable management of this unique genetic reservoir, supporting local economies and preserving sheep species biodiversity.

Insight into the current genomic diversity, conservation status and population structure of Tunisian Barbarine sheep breed

Chessari, Giorgio
Co-primo
Conceptualization
;
Marletta, Donata
Supervision
;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Local livestock breeds play a crucial role in global biodiversity, connecting natural and human-influenced environments and contributing significantly to ecosystem services. While commercial breeds dominate industrial systems, local livestock breeds in developing countries, like Barbarine sheep in Tunisia, are vital for food security and community maintenance. The Tunisian Barbarine sheep, known for its adaptability and distinctive fat-tailed morphology, faces challenges due to historical crossbreeding. In this study, the Illumina Ovine SNP50K BeadChip array was used to perform a genome-wide characterization of Tunisian Barbarine sheep to investigate its genetic diversity, the genome structure, and the relationship within the context of Mediterranean breeds. The results show moderate genetic diversity and low inbreeding. Runs of Homozygosity analysis find genomic regions linked to important traits, including fat tail characteristics. Genomic relationship analysis shows proximity to Algerian thin-tailed breeds, suggesting crossbreeding impacts. Admixture analysis reveals unique genetic patterns, emphasizing the Tunisian Barbarine’s identity within the Mediterranean context and its closeness to African breeds. Current results represent a starting point for the creation of monitoring and conservation plans. In summary, despite genetic dilution due to crossbreeding, the identification of genomic regions offers crucial insights for conservation. The study confirms the importance of preserving unique genetic characteristics of local breeds, particularly in the face of ongoing crossbreeding practices and environmental challenges. These findings contribute valuable insights for the sustainable management of this unique genetic reservoir, supporting local economies and preserving sheep species biodiversity.
2024
local sheep breed, single nucleotide polymorphism, genetic differentiation analyses, livestock conservation, Africa, fat-tail
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/613652
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