ISSN 10227954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2010, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 86–92. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2010.
Livestock rearing in tropical countries differ in
many respect compared to that in temperate coun
tries. Although rearing of Animal Genetic Resources
(AnGR) for profitable exploitation is a common
approach in the world, the pattern of doing that differs.
In India the rearing practice of livestock is towards
making them consume the agrowaste which is not use
ful for humans. The byconversion of this agrowaste
into the consumable products at lowest possible cost is
always being tried by farming community. Sheep
thrives primarly on natural vegetation and crop resi
dues and never compete with the human beings for
food grains. They are considered as mainstay of small
and marginal farmers as well as landless agricultural
The productivity of Indian sheep is low, yet effi
cient considering the nutritional, physical and envi
ronmental conditions under which they are reared.
Out of 42 breeds of Indian sheep, increasing number
of indigenous breeds are threatened with extinction
due to extensive crossing with commercial breeds .
The molecular characterization of indigenous breeds
is a desirable initial step to aid management and con
Shahabadi animals are being maintained by the
farmers in villages purely for mutton production. Sha
habadi sheep is found in Gaya, Patna and Ara districts
of Bihar. These arc medium sized and leggy animals.
The fleece colour is mostly grey, sometimes with black
spots. Tail is extremely long and thin. Both sexes are
polled. Fleece is coarse hairy and open. Legs and belly
The article is published in the original.
are devoid of wool. Total sheep population of the state
registered 45.71% decline  as compared to the pro
jected population of 1997 which was based on 1982
Census. One of the major constraints in knowing the
status of Shahabadi sheep is the absence of any breed
wise survey and documentation for this breed.
Simple sequence repeats (STRs, microsatellites)
are a valuable tool for the study of genetic diversity of
the populations . Thus FAO recommended micro
satellite markers were used to evaluate genetic diversity
of Shahabadi sheepthe only recognized sheep breed
of Bihar state of India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Animal sampling and DNA extraction.
samples were collected from breeding tract of Shaha
badi (Fig. 1) as per the guidelines of FAO’s MoDAD
(Measurement of Domestic Animal Diversity) pro
gramme . All possible precautions were taken to
sample unrelated animals. Samples were taken from
different villages, and owners were questioned in order
to avoid close relationships. Vacuitaners were used to
collect jugular blood before extracting the DNA using
phenol/chloroform protocol .
Microsatellite and genotyping.
ers (Table 1) were selected based on the guidelines of
FAO’s DADIS (Domestic Animal Diversity Informa
tion System) MoDAD programme. Each PCR mix
l) contained 50–100 ng genomic DNA,
M each of dATP, dCTP, dGTP and dTTP,
50 mM KCl, 10 mM Tris–HCl (pH 9.0), 0.1% Triton
X100, 1.5 mM
Variation of 18 STR Loci in Shahabadi Sheep of India
A. K. Pandey, Rekha Sharma, Y. Singh, B. P. Mishra, K. G. Mondal,
P. K. Singh, G. Singh, and B. K. Joshi
National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, KarnaI132 001 (Haryana), India;
Received July 3, 2007; in final form, February 28, 2008
—Shahabadi sheep represent an important but uninvestigated source of genetic diversity. Eighteen
microsatellite markers were employed to analyze the genetic diversity of Shahabadi sheep population found
in Bihar, India within fifty samples. Microsatellites were highly polymorphic with a mean allelic number
. The observed heterozygosity, expected heterozygosity and observed and effective number of alle
les were used to estimate the genetic variation of this breed. The observed heterozygosity in the population
varied from 0.279–0.739 with the mean of
, reflecting substantial genetic variation in this pop
ulation. Population was observed to be heterozygote deficient (21.5%). The results of this study indicated that
conservation of genetic variation in Shahabadi population should be considered by breeders, in the interest
of long term future of the breed in its native tract.