Mitochondrial genetic diversity and maternal origin of Guangdong indigenous chickens

HUANG Xunhe 1,2 YU Zheqi 1 WENG Zhuoxian 1,2,3 HE Danlin 4 YI Zhenhua 4 LI Weina 1,2 CHEN Jiebo 1,2 ZHANG Xiquan 4 DU Bingwang 5 ZHONG Fusheng 1,2,3

(1.School of Life Sciences, Jiaying University, Meizhou, Guangdong 514015)
(2.Guangdong Innovation Centre for Science and Technology of Wuhua Yellow Chicken, Meizhou, Guangdong 514015)
(3.College of Animal Science and Technology, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, Hunan 410128)
(4.College of Animal Sciences, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510642)
(5.College of Agriculture, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang, Guangdong 524088)

【Abstract】The evaluation of the genetic diversity of indigenous chickens and the tracing of their matrilineal origin need to be facilitated to protect and utilize the germplasm bank of quality poultry. Twelve indigenous chicken breeds from Guangdong Province and its adjacent regions were used for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop sequencing, and analysis of genetic distance and genetic relationship between breeds was conducted. We constructed a phylogenetic tree and median-joining network based on haplotypes. Sixty mutation sites were detected in 360 samples, and all of them were found to be in transition. Eighty-five haplotypes, belonging to haplogroups A, B, C, and E, were defined. B was the dominant haplogroup (187, 51.94%), followed by E (76, 21.11%). Haplogroups A, B, C, and E were distributed in all the 12 breeds. B02 and C01 were the dominant haplotypes (85, 23.61%; 48, 13.33%), which were shared by all twelve breeds, and E03 ranked the third (35, 9.72%), and was absent in the Xinghua, Huanglang and Ningdu yellow chicken. Xinghua chickens occurred mainly in haplogroup B, while Huiyang bearded and Zhongshan shalan chickens were distributed mainly in E. The number of haplotypes of Huaixiang chicken was the largest, while the Zhongshan shalan chicken had the fewest. The genetic distance between Guangdong chicken breeds ranged from 0.012 to 0.015, with the haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity ranging from 0.805 ± 0.047 to 0.949 ± 0.026, and from 0.010 2 ± 0.001 7 to 0.013 8 ± 0.000 9, respectively. Eighty-five haplotypes were divided into clades A, B, C, and E in the phylogenetic tree and median-joining network. Similar patterns of geographical distribution of mtDNA haplotypes were found in the chicken from Guangdong Province and its adjacent regions. The neutral test indicated that Guangdong indigenous chickens had not sustained obvious population expansion. Our results suggested that Guangdong chickens had a desirable conservation status, as they carried high levels of genetic diversity, and the demographic histories were influenced to some extent, by the gene flow of domestic chickens from adjacent provinces and northern China. The red junglefowls from Southeast Asia had an important genetic contribution to the indigenous chickens of Guangdong Province.

【Keywords】 Guangdong indigenous chicken; mitochondrial DNA; D-loop; genetic diversity; origin;


【Funds】 Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (2014A030307018) Public Interest Research and Capacity Building Project of Guangdong Province (2015A020208020, 2016A030303068) Key Province and City Co-construction Project in Jiaying University [Jiayuan (2017) 27]

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This Article



Vol 26, No. 03, Pages 238-247

March 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Discussion
  • References