Assessment of genetic diversity and conservation priority of Omani local chickens using microsatellite markers

Badar Al-Qamashoui, Henner Simianer, Isam Kadim, Steffen Weigend*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Designing strategies for conservation and improvement livestock should be based on assessment of genetic characteristics of populations under consideration. In Oman, conservation programs for local livestock breeds have been started. The current study assessed the genetic diversity and conservation potential of local chickens from Oman. Twenty-nine microsatellite markers were analyzed in 158 birds from six agroecological zones: Batinah, Dhofar, North Hajar, East Hajar, Musandam, and East Coast. Overall, a total of 217 alleles were observed. Across populations, the average number of alleles per locus was 7.48 and ranged from 2 (MCW98 and MCW103) to 20 (LEI094). The mean expected heterozygosity (H E) was 0.62. Average fixation index among populations (F ST) was 0.034, indicating low population differentiation, while the mean global deficit of heterozygotes across populations (F IT) was 0.159. Based on Nei's genetic distance, a neighbor-joining tree was constructed for the populations, which clearly identified the Dhofar population as the most distant one of the Omani chicken populations. The analysis of conservation priorities identified Dhofar and Musandam populations as the ones that largely contribute to the maximal genetic diversity of the Omani chicken gene pool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-752
Number of pages6
JournalTropical Animal Health and Production
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Conservation
  • Genetic diversity
  • Microsatellites
  • Omani chicken

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of genetic diversity and conservation priority of Omani local chickens using microsatellite markers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this