Diversity and Genetic Relationship of Free-Range Chickens from the Northeast Region of Brazil
Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Piauí (UFPI), Campus Universitário Ministro Petrônio Portella, 64049-550 Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
Department of Genetics, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Cordoba, 14071 Cordoba, Spain
Animal Breeding Consulting sl., C/. Astrónoma Cecilia Payne, ID-1, 8-PE, Rabanales 21, 14014 Cordoba, Spain
National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinarian Research (INIAV), Fonte Boa, 2005-048 Vale de Santarém, Portugal
Vasco da Gama University School, 197 Lordemão, 3020-210 Coimbra, Portugal
Department of Chemistry and Biology, Laboratory of Genetics and Molecular Biology, State University of Maranhão (UEMA), Center for Higher Studies of Caxias, 65604-380 Caxias, Maranhão, Brazil
Andalusian Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training (IFAPA), Alameda del Obispo, 14004 Córdoba, Spain
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) Meio-Norte, Sector of Technology Transfer, Bairro Buenos Aires, 64006-220 Teresina, Piauí, Brazil
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Animal Health (CIISA), University of Lisbon, Avenida da Universidade Técnica, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 September 2020 / Revised: 4 October 2020 / Accepted: 6 October 2020 / Published: 12 October 2020
Local animal breeds represent a national genetic heritage for every country. Creole free-range chickens have important cultural, historical, genetic, and economic roles in several countries. In Brazil, there is a lack of information regarding the genetic formation of local chicken breeds. These animals were brought to Brazil during colonization in the 16th century. Currently, Brazilian Creole chickens are highly adapted to the edaphoclimatic conditions of the country and are mostly reared by smallholders. In this study, we used microsatellite markers to determine the genetic composition of three chicken breeds from the northeast region of Brazil. Our results confirm the existence of interbreed genetic diversity and high genetic variability within the Brazilian Creole chickens studied. Furthermore, our findings show that the formation of these genetic groups had contributions from different ancestors. Our results will be useful to support the development of conservation programs, as well as the sustainable use and official recognition of these breeds.