An historical and biogeographical assessment of European Merino sheep breeds by microsatellite markers

Vincenzo Landi , Emiliano Lasagna , Simone Ceccobelli , Amparo Martinez , Fatima Santos-Silva , Jose Luis Vega-Pla , Francesco Panella , Daniel Allain , Isabelle Palhiere , Maciej Murawski , Susana Dunner , Luìs Telo Da Gama , Cecilio Barba , Juan Vicente Delgado , Francesca Maria Sarti


Although the Merino breed originated in the Iberian Peninsula, the Merino and Merino-derived sheep breeds have nowadays been widely distributed across the world both as purebreds and as admixed populations. In Europe, the Merino trunk has both high phenotypic and genetic diversity which originated from several genetic types adapted to different economic and farming environments. For these reasons, Merino and Merino-derived breeds must be presently considered cosmopolitan breeds that have an important role worldwide in the production of high-quality wool. This paper presents the results of the genetic characterization by 35 STR markers of 539 animals which are the most important 16 Merino and Merino-derived sheep breeds in Europe. The results highlighted a remarkable level of genetic variability in all breeds. Overall, microsatellite polymorphism analysis revealed the Merino Pozo Blanco as the most homogeneous breed. The subdivision between the studied breeds was shown by the STRUCTURE analysis even though a genetic admixture is particularly evident in the three Italian Merino derived breeds. In this study, the historical background of the Merino breed has been assessed from the genetic point of view, and the Spanish origin of the Merinos branch seems to be confirmed. In general, despite their common ancestral origin, nowadays the investigated Merino and Merino-derived breeds present a genetic identity in accordance with their geographical location probably due to different selection strategies.
Author Vincenzo Landi
Vincenzo Landi,,
, Emiliano Lasagna
Emiliano Lasagna,,
, Simone Ceccobelli
Simone Ceccobelli,,
, Amparo Martinez
Amparo Martinez,,
, Fatima Santos-Silva
Fatima Santos-Silva,,
, Jose Luis Vega-Pla
Jose Luis Vega-Pla,,
, Francesco Panella
Francesco Panella,,
, Daniel Allain
Daniel Allain,,
, Isabelle Palhiere
Isabelle Palhiere,,
, Maciej Murawski (FoAS / DoAB)
Maciej Murawski,,
- Department of Animal Biotechnology
et al.`
Journal seriesSmall Ruminant Research, ISSN 0921-4488, e-ISSN 1879-0941, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishSTR, Genetic diversity, Population structure, Merino breed
ASJC Classification3403 Food Animals; 1103 Animal Science and Zoology
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 0.947; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 1.21 (2) - 2018=1.351 (5)
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