Genetic Diversity of Urial Population in Northeast of Iran

Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran

3 Department of Animal Science, Khorasan Razavi Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Mashhad, Iran


Habitat eradication and loss of animal species have created a new international hazard for wildlife conservation. National parks are considered as suitable places that can serve dual functions of biodiversity conservation and ecotourism. As recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), microsatellites have been used for animal biodiversity assessment. For this reason, Iranian urials population genetic diversity was studied by analyzing of 10 microsatellite markers in 75 skeletal muscle samples that were collected from Tandooreh National Park, Northeastern of Iran. Species of samples validated by sequencing of the control region from mtDNA. Allelic frequencies for each locus in the population and different measurements of within-breed genetic variations were computed by the POPGENE32 software. The number of alleles per locus counted from 5 to 8, with an average of 6.1. The polymorphism information content was calculated between 0.66-0.74 with the average of 0.7. Observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.223 (MaF214) to 0.776 (OarFCB128) with an average about 0.584 while the average expected heterozygosity for all studied loci was 0.785 ranging from 0.765 (BM8125) to 0.807 (MaF36). High levels of expected heterozygosity can be attributed to some factors such as low level of inbreeding, low selection pressure, and high allele number. However, findings of the present study of the high variability of the Iranian urials showed the presence of a possible ‘hot spot’ genetic diversity for wild urial population in the Northeast of Iran. In conclusion, values of genetic diversity revealed that the Iranian urial population harbor unique and appreciable reservoirs of diversity.


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