Microsatellite based genetic diversity among the three water buffalo ( Bubalus bubalis) populations in Turkey
In this study, twenty microsatellite loci were used to define genetic diversity among 56 water buffalo samples. Their somatic tissues (the skin and cartilage tissues from ears) and DNAs were deposited in Turkish Gene Banks. Samples of healthy animals were collected from three different geographic regions: Northern Turkey, North-Western Turkey and Eastern Thrace. Three (loci CSSM57, ETH3) to ten (locus CSSM47) different alleles were identified per micro-satellite locus in a total of 103 alleles. PIC values for the micro-satellite loci analysed ranged from 0.14 (CSSM32) to 0.82 (CSSM47) with a mean of 0.4945. In all of the populations for each of the loci, the observed heterozygosities (H O) were greater than the expected heterozygosities (H E), indicating that populations suffered from bottleneck. H E per population ranged between 0.5359 in the Black Sea Region and 0.5208 in the Aegean-South Marmara Region. Within the population, inbreeding estimates (F IS) was positive in only four of the 20 loci analysed. Individuals of the different geographic populations did not cluster on the neighbour joining tree which was constructed on the basis of allele sharing distances. Population differentiation was further visualized by Factorial Correspondence Analysis and determined by the pairwise estimations of fixation index (F ST) and Nei’s standard genetic distance (D a). The results revealed that populations have inertia (as depicted by Factorial Correspondence Analysis), they are differentiated significantly but little (by pairwise F ST values) and the least genetic distance is between Black Sea Region and Thrace Region. Comparative studies indicated that the genetic diversity of water buffalo harboured in the Gene Banks of Turkey is at the lower end of the diversity spectrum. This study thus highlights the usefulness of heterologous bovine microsatellite markers to assess the genetic variability in Anatolian water buffalo breeds. Furthermore, the results can be utilized for future breeding strategies and conservation.