Genetic structure of Omani goats reveals admixture among populations from geographically proximal sites

Nasser Ali Al-Araimi*, Raed Mahmoud Al-Atiyat, Agusto Luzuriaga-Neira, O. Mahgoub Gaafar, Isam T. Kadim, Waleed Al-Marzooqi, Hamza A. Babiker, Mohammed N. Al-Kindi, Aliya S. Al-Ansari, A. H. Al-Lawati, Albano Beja-Pereira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The genetic diversity of most global goat populations has been assessed in recent decades using nuclear markers but remains unstudied in the south Arabian Peninsula, particularly in the Sultanate of Oman, despite the importance of these animals for the local economy and food supply. Therefore, the present study provides a comparative analysis of the genetic diversity of five native Omani goat populations and evaluates possible admixture rates with the four most frequently imported goat populations from geographically proximal countries. A dataset based on 11 highly informative microsatellite locus genotypes from nine populations was used to estimate population genetic parameters. The summary statistics for the parameters depicted relatively highly diverse populations (Ho = 0.667, He = 0.663) with relatively low and mostly non-significant levels of inbreeding (FIS). Furthermore, population substructure estimators (AMOVA) and population differentiation coefficient (FST) indicated weak genetic differentiation among populations (P < 0.001). A finer analysis of the population substructure and differentiation using STRUCTURE, discriminant analyses of principal components (DAPCs) and a neighbor-joining (NJ) tree supported a scenario in which a high level of gene flow between populations from close geographical locations is the main evolutionary driving force. Thus, any future conservation strategies and breeding programs should attempt to preserve unique alleles that might be favorable for the limited feed available in desert ecosystems as well as economic traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Arabian peninsula
  • Conservation
  • Exotic breeds
  • Genetic degradation
  • Native Omani goats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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