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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(9), 11455-11470; doi:10.3390/ijms130911455

Maternal Phylogeny of a Newly-Found Yak Population in China

1,2,* , 3
1 Ecological Conservation and Animal Husbandry Research and Development Base of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Southwest University for Nationalities, Chengdu 610041, China 2 College of Life Science and Technology, Southwest University for Nationalities, Chengdu 610041, China 3 Animal Husbandry Station of Sichuan Province, Chengdu 610041, China 4 Animal Husbandry Bureau of Jinchuan County, Abazhou, Sichuan 624100, China 5 Sichuan Academy of Grassland Science, Chengdu 611731, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2012 / Revised: 29 August 2012 / Accepted: 3 September 2012 / Published: 12 September 2012
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The Jinchuan yak is a new yak population identified in Sichuan, China. This population has a special anatomical characteristic: an additional pair of ribs compared with other yak breeds. The genetic structure of this population is unknown. In the present study, we investigated the maternal phylogeny of this special yak population using the mitochondrial DNA variation. A total of 23 Jinchuan yaks were sequenced for a 823-bp fragment of D-loop control region and three individuals were sequenced for the whole mtDNA genome with a length of 16,371-bp. To compare with the data from other yaks, we extracted sequence data from Genebank, including D-loop of 398 yaks (from 12 breeds) and 55 wild yaks, and whole mitochondrial genomes of 53 yaks (from 12 breeds) and 21 wild yaks. A total of 127 haplotypes were defined, based on the D-loop data. Thirteen haplotypes were defined from 23 mtDNA D-loop sequences of Jinchuan yaks, six of which were shared only by Jinchuan, and one was shared by Jinchuan and wild yaks. The Jinquan yaks were found to carry clades A and B from lineage I and clade C of lineage II, respectively. It was also suggested that the Jinchuan population has no distinct different phylogenetic relationship in maternal inheritance with other breeds of yak. The highly haplotype diversity of the Pali breed, Jinchuan population, Maiwa breed and Jiulong breed suggested that the yak was first domesticated from wild yaks in the middle Himalayan region and the northern Hengduan Mountains. The special anatomic characteristic that we found in the Jinchuan population needs further studies based on nuclear data.
Keywords: Bos grunniens; Jinchuan yak population; mtDNA control region; mitochondrial genome; genetic diversity; phylogeny Bos grunniens; Jinchuan yak population; mtDNA control region; mitochondrial genome; genetic diversity; phylogeny
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Mipam, T.D.; Wen, Y.; Fu, C.; Li, S.; Zhao, H.; Ai, Y.; Li, L.; Zhang, L.; Zou, D. Maternal Phylogeny of a Newly-Found Yak Population in China. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 11455-11470.

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