In this study we used a medium density panel of SNP markers to perform population genetic analysis in five Italian cattle breeds. The BovineSNP50 BeadChip was used to genotype a total of 2,935 bulls of Piedmontese, Marchigiana, Italian Holstein, Italian Brown and Italian Pezzata Rossa breeds. To determine a genome-wide pattern of positive selection we mapped the F ST values against genome location. The highest FST peaks were obtained on BTA6 and BTA13 where some candidate genes are located. We identified selection signatures peculiar of each breed which suggest selection for genes involved in milk or meat traits. The genetic structure was investigated by using a multidimensional scaling of the genetic distance matrix and a Bayesian approach implemented in the STRUCTURE software. The genotyping data showed a clear partitioning of the cattle genetic diversity into distinct breeds if a number of clusters equal to the number of populations were given. Assuming a lower number of clusters beef breeds group together. Both methods showed all five breeds separated in well defined clusters and the Bayesian approach assigned individuals to the breed of origin. The work is of interest not only because it enriches the knowledge on the process of evolution but also because the results generated could have implications for selective breeding programs. © The Author(s) 2014.
- Bayesian assignment
- Cattle breeds