In this study, the genetic variation in Karakul sheep was investigated using 15 microsatellite markers (MCMA2, BMS460, BM1815, OARCP26, OARFCB20, MAF64, OARAE129, BMS332, LSCV38, BM6444, BMS995, MCMA26, BMS678 and OARCP49) and all fifteen loci were amplified successfully. Genomic DNA was extracted from 120 blood samples, using modified salting-out method. Tests of genotype frequencies for deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) were performed at each locus and revealed significant departure from HWE (P < 0.001) due to heterozygote excess. Parameters of variability such as effective number of alleles and gene diversities corroborated with the high level of variation frequently displayed by microsatellite markers. The fifteen tested loci were all polymorphic. Furthermore, other criteria of genetic variation including polymorphism information content (PIC) values and Shanon information index were calculated in this study. Results showed that, high level of genetic diversity was observed in Karakul breed and this breed was not at risk for conservation concept. This research has also shown that microsatellite technique is a useful tool for evaluation of genetic variation among domesticated animals.
Key words: Karakul sheep, microsatellite markers, genetic variation, polymorphism. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE).
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