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TDK conference 2015

Examination of Hungarian Tsigai variants based on control region of mitochondrial DNA
Kelleher Sarah - year 4
SzIU, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Institute for Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Supervisor: Dr. Kata Annus


The Hungarian native Tsigai breed is an old, independent long-tailed sheep breed originating in Asia Minor. The breed was introduced into the country around 1700. Due to the significance this breed has within the Hungarian Culture we feel the preservation of this breed, in spite of its lower production value, is of great importance. In this way the maintenance of a greater genetic diversity is essential on the course of preservation of our old, rare domestic animal breeds. We are the first research group to analyse the genetic background by the use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence in the Hungarian native Tsigai breed, and compare it to the sequences of GenBank.

Our aim of this investigation is using obtained mitochondrial DNA sequence data to provide us with greater insight into the maternal lineages of the Hungarian Tsigai breed. With these results we aim to provide accurate information to the Hungarian breeders to obtain the best outcome within family selection.

At first we retrieved the necessary herd book from the Hungarian Association of Sheep and Goat Breeders and we analysed the pedigree data therein. From our pedigree analysis we chose the ancient maternal lineages to carry out sequence analysis. The blood samples were taken from a pair of descendants from each of the eldest families based on herd booking (and from two more breed variants, altogether from 81 individuals) in 2014.

From the blood samples taken, we purified the DNA and carried out PCR reaction and then sequencing. The control region of mtDNA showed nucleotide deviation at 98 sites. Among our 81 samples we could differentiate 65 haplotypes signifying a vast genetic diversity. However, the differences among the individuals were limited to few loci; so the maternal genetic background of the Tsigai breed seems to be unified. The genetic information confirmed the origin of the families/flocks known from the breed history. Ninety-four percent of the samples belonged to the ovine haplogroup B (in 42 cases with full matches with the reference of GenBank, DQ852175.1). This fact proves the common maternal origin of the Hungarian Tsigai with the other European sheep breeds.

A more intense focusing on the maternal side is motivated also by the fact that the females are present in greater number than the males. Further they remain in breeding for a longer period of time respectively, so they can be the depositaries of realization and maintenance of genetic diversity to a larger extent. We believe the results of this investigation support the maintenance of preservation of the Hungarian Tsigai.

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