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Research article2015Peer reviewedOpen access

Genetic diversity of five local Swedish chicken breeds detected by microsatellite markers

Abebe Abiye, Shenkut; Mikko, Sofia; Johansson, Anna Maria


This study aimed at investigating the genetic diversity, relationship and population structure of 110 local Swedish chickens derived from five breeds (Gotlandshona, Hedemorahona, Olandsk dvarghona, Skansk blommehona, and Bohuslan-Dals svarthona, in the rest of the paper the shorter name Svarthona is used) using 24 microsatellite markers. In total, one hundred thirteen alleles were detected in all populations, with a mean of 4.7 alleles per locus. For the five chicken breeds, the observed and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.225 to 0.408 and from 0.231 to 0.515, with the lowest scores for the Svarthona and the highest scores for the Skansk blommehona breeds, respectively. Similarly, the average within breed molecular kinship varied from 0.496 to 0.745, showing high coancestry, with Skansk blommehona having the lowest and Svarthona the highest coancestry. Furthermore, all breeds showed significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations. Across the five breeds, the global heterozygosity deficit (FIT) was 0.545, population differentiation index (F-ST) was 0.440, and the global inbreeding of individuals within breed (F-IS) was 0.187. The phylogenetic relationships of chickens were examined using neighbor-joining trees constructed at the level of breeds and individual samples. The neighbor-joining tree constructed at breed level revealed two main clusters, with Hedemorahona and Olandsk dvarghona breeds in one cluster, and Gotlandshona and Svarthona breeds in the second cluster leaving the Skansk blommehona in the middle. Based on the results of the STRUCTURE analysis, the most likely number of clustering of the five breeds was at K = 4, with Hedemorahona, Gotlandshona and Svarthona breeds forming their own distinct clusters, while Olandsk dvarghona and Skansk blommehona breeds clustered together. Losses in the overall genetic diversity of local Swedish chickens due to breeds extinction varied from -1.46% to -6.723%. The results of the current study can be used as baseline genetic information for genetic conservation program, for instance, to control inbreeding and to implement further genetic studies in local Swedish chickens.

Published in

2015, Volume: 10, number: 4, article number: e0120580
Publisher: Public Library of Science