Polymorphisms at PRNP gene locus have been associated with resistance against classical scrapie in goats. Genetic selection on this gene within appropriate breeding programs may contribute to the control of the disease. The present study characterized the genetic profile of codons 146, 211 and 222 in three dairy goat breeds in Greece. A total of 766 dairy goats from seven farms were used. Animals belonged to two indigenous Greek, Eghoria (n = 264) and Skopelos (n = 287) and a foreign breed, Damascus (n = 215). Genomic DNA was extracted from blood samples from individual animals. Polymorphisms were detected in these codons using Real-Time PCR analysis and four different Custom TaqMan® SNP Genotyping Assays. Genotypic, allelic and haplotypic frequencies were calculated based on individual animal genotypes. Chi-square tests were used to examine Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium state and compare genotypic distribution across breeds. Genetic distances among the three breeds, and between these and 30 breeds reared in other countries were estimated based on haplotypic frequencies using fixation index FST with Arlequin v3.1 software; a Neighbor-Joining tree was created using PHYLIP package v3.695. Level of statistical significance was set at P = 0.01. All scrapie resistance-associated alleles (146S, 146D, 211Q and 222K) were detected in the studied population. Significant frequency differences were observed between the indigenous Greek and Damascus breeds. Alleles 222K and 146S had the highest frequency in the two indigenous and the Damascus breed, respectively (ca. 6.0%). The studied breeds shared similar haplotypic frequencies with most South Italian and Turkish breeds but differed significantly from North-Western European, Far East and some USA goat breeds. Results suggest there is adequate variation in the PRNP gene locus to support breeding programs for enhanced scrapie resistance in goats reared in Greece. Genetic comparisons among goat breeds indicate that separate breeding programs should apply to the two indigenous and the imported Damascus breeds.
- Journal Article