Abstracts (first author)
Tropical African cattle a unique model for the study of livestock adaptationPDF
Indigenous cattle populations of Africa have a unique history which makes them particularly suitable for the understanding, at the genome level, of environmental adaptation. African taurine cattle Bos taurus taurus were the first to arrive on the continent. They were followed by the humped Bos taurus indicus zebu from their centre of domestication on the Indian subcontinent. The result of these migrations is a mosaic of zebu-taurine cattle population adapted to a diversity of local environments (e.g. semi-dry desert, humid and sub-humid forested areas) and production systems (e.g. pastoral, small-holder). Here, we use genomic tools to unravel genetic positive signature of selection in the East African shorthorn zebu, a locally indigenous adapted cattle from Western Kenya. We show that its autosomal genome structure is a complex make-up of taurine and zebu background while its mitochondrial DNA genome is of taurine origin only. Positive signatures of selection are detected through high density SNP chip genotyping and full genome sequencing. They include genes which may be associated with adaptation to disease challenge or reproductive function. An example of these genes is RXFP2, which is involved in testicular descent development, and horn development. Analysis of the mitochondrial DNA reveal signature of purifying selection against deleterious mutations.