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  • Author: Colli, Licia

    Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy

  • Author: Milanesi, Marco

    Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  • Author: Talenti, Andrea

    University of Milan, Italy

  • Author: Bertolini, Francesca

    Department of Animal Science

    Section for Marine Living Resources, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Chen, Minhui

    Aarhus University

  • Author: Crisà, Alessandra

    Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Italy

  • Author: Daly, Kevin Gerard

    Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

  • Author: Del Corvo, Marcello

    Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy

  • Author: Guldbrandtsen, Bernt

    Aarhus University, Denmark

  • Author: Lenstra, Johannes A.

    Utrecht University, Netherlands

  • Author: Rosen, Benjamin D.

    United States Department of Agriculture

  • Author: Vajana, Elia

    Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  • Author: Catillo, Gennaro

    Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Italy

  • Author: Joost, Stéphane

    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland

  • Author: Nicolazzi, Ezequiel Luis

    Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano (PTP), Italy

  • Author: Rochat, Estelle

    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland

  • Author: Rothschild, Max F.

    Iowa State University

  • Author: Servin, Bertrand

    Universite de Toulouse

  • Author: Sonstegard, Tad S.

    Recombinetics Inc, United States

  • Author: Steri, Roberto

    Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Italy

  • Author: Van Tassell, Curtis P.

    United States Department of Agriculture, United States

  • Author: Ajmone-Marsan, Paolo

    Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy

  • Author: Crepaldi, Paola

    University of Milan, Italy

  • Author: Stella, Alessandra

    Fondazione Parco Tecnologico Padano (PTP), Italy

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Background: Goat populations that are characterized within the AdaptMap project cover a large part of the worldwide distribution of this species and provide the opportunity to assess their diversity at a global scale. We analysed genome-wide 50 K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from 144 populations to describe the global patterns of molecular variation, compare them to those observed in other livestock species, and identify the drivers that led to the current distribution of goats. Results: A high degree of genetic variability exists among the goat populations studied. Our results highlight a strong partitioning of molecular diversity between and within continents. Three major gene pools correspond to goats from Europe, Africa and West Asia. Dissection of sub-structures disclosed regional gene pools, which reflect the main post-domestication migration routes. We also identified several exchanges, mainly in African populations, and which often involve admixed and cosmopolitan breeds. Extensive gene flow has taken place within specific areas (e.g., south Europe, Morocco and Mali-Burkina Faso-Nigeria), whereas elsewhere isolation due to geographical barriers (e.g., seas or mountains) or human management has decreased local gene flows. Conclusions: After domestication in the Fertile Crescent in the early Neolithic era (ca. 12,000 YBP), domestic goats that already carried differentiated gene pools spread to Europe, Africa and Asia. The spread of these populations determined the major genomic background of the continental populations, which currently have a more marked subdivision than that observed in other ruminant livestock species. Subsequently, further diversification occurred at the regional level due to geographical and reproductive isolation, which was accompanied by additional migrations and/or importations, the traces of which are still detectable today. The effects of breed formation were clearly detected, particularly in Central and North Europe. Overall, our results highlight a remarkable diversity that occurs at the global scale and is locally partitioned and often affected by introgression from cosmopolitan breeds. These findings support the importance of long-term preservation of goat diversity, and provide a useful framework for investigating adaptive introgression, directing genetic improvement and choosing breeding targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalGenetics Selection Evolution
Volume50
Issue number1
ISSN0999-193X
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 Nov 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 4
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