The indigenous Tswana pig is currently listed as an endangered animal genetic resource and if not conserved, might go extinct. The objective of this study was to assess the genetic diversity (genetic characterization) of the indigenous Tswana pig population. Blood samples were collected from 30 randomly selected Tswana pigs in Kgatleng and South-East districts of Botswana for the assessment of genetic diversity using a panel of 12 FAO-recommended microsatellite markers. All the microsatellite markers screened in indigenous Tswana pigs were polymorphic and the number of observed alleles per marker varied between 3 (SW2406) and 9 (SW225) with mean number of alleles per marker of 6.33. The observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.16 (SW2405) to 0.875 (SW2465) with average observed heterozygosity across all 12 loci of 0.647. The expected heterozygosity was lower than the observed heterozygosity and ranged between 0.143 (SW2405) and 0.776 (SO385) with mean expected heterozygosity across all loci of 0.603. The allelic diversity and levels of heterozygosity indicate high levels of genetic diversity in Tswana pig population. The within-locus inbreeding coefficient (Fis) ranged between -0.321(S0120) and 0.234 (SW35) with inbreeding coefficient of the entire population of -0.012 indicating that the Tswana pig population is relatively outbred.
Key words: Genetic diversity, microsatellite markers, heterozygosity
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