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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Signatures of selection reveal candidate genes involved in adaptation traits in indigenous goats in DR Congo

Patrick Baenyi Simon1, Owino Junga2, Winyo Ochieng3, Kiambou Tiambo4, Getinet Tarekegn5

1Evangelical University in Africa, Animal Production, Congo, The Democratic Republic
2University of nairobi, Animal production
3University of Nairobi, Animal Production
4Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health , CTLGH, Kenya
5University of Edinburgh, Scotland Rural College (SRUC) , United Kingdom


Natural and artificial selections are among the main driving forces shaping genetic variation across the genome of livestock species. Selection typically leaves signatures in the genome, which are often characterised by high genetic differentiation across breeds and/or a strong reduction in genetic diversity in regions associated with traits under intense selection pressure. In this study, we evaluated signatures of selection in three indigenous goat populations including Kasai goat (n= 120), dwarf goat (n= 120) and small goat (n= 80) from east and west of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). After genotyping and quality control, 45,335 autosomal Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and 298 individuals remained for further analysis. A total of 330 specific putative signatures of selection were identified across all populations, based on the cross-population extended haplotype heterozygosity (XP-EHH) approach between the three Congolese goat populations. 10 from 43 positive regions were enriched with genes involved in signalling pathways associated directly or indirectly with the adaptation such as body size and muscle development (DEPTOR, MAGEL2), behaviour and nervous system (DCDC2, PANK3, ITSN1, COL6A3, ENPP2, CAMK4), reproductive traits (CAMK4), disease control such as a decrease in salmonella proliferation (EIF3J) and hair colour measurement, hair measurement and hair colour (PADI2). The enrichment of the selection signatures analysis identifies genomic regions that may provide background knowledge to understand the mechanisms involved in reproductive and adaptation traits in the local environment in DRC. Further research should be conducted on the significant genomic regions reported in this study in order to clarify their implication and association with the reported and unreported traits in goats.

Keywords: Adaptation, candidate genes, Capra hircus, DR Congo, selective sweeps

Contact Address: Patrick Baenyi Simon, Evangelical University in Africa, Animal Production, Panzi, 3323 Bukavu, Congo, The Democratic Republic, e-mail: baenyipatrick@gmail.com

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