Genetic diversity and population structure of indigenous chicken breeds in South China
A total of 587 individuals from 12 indigenous chicken breeds from South China and two commercial breeds were genotyped for 26 microsatellites to investigate the genetic diversity and population structure. All microsatellites were found to be polymorphic. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 5 to 36, with an average of 12.10 ± 7.00 (SE). All breeds, except White Recessive Rock, had high allelic polymorphism (>0.5). Higher genetic diversity was revealed in the indigenous chicken breeds rather than in the commercial breeds. Potential introgression from the commercial breeds into the indigenous chickens was also detected. The population structure of these indigenous chicken breeds could be explained by their geographical distribution, which suggested the presence of independent history of breed formation. Data generated in this study will provide valuable information to the conservation for indigenous chicken breeds in future.