Genetic diversity among Canadienne, Brown Swiss, Holstein, and Jersey cattle of Canada based on 15 bovine microsatellite markers. Academic Article uri icon


  • The genetic diversity among Canadienne, Brown Swiss, Holstein, and Jersey cattle was estimated from relationships determined by genotyping 20 distantly related animals in each breed for 15 microsatellites located on separate chromosomes. The Canadienne, Holstein, and Jersey cattle had an average of six alleles per loci compared with five alleles for Brown Swiss. Furthermore, a number of potentially breed-specific alleles were identified. The allele size variance among breeds was similar, but varied considerably among loci. All of the loci studied were equally heterozygous, as were Brown Swiss, Canadienne, and Holstein cattle (0.68-0.69) whereas Jersey cattle showed lower heterozygosity (0.59). The within-breed estimates of genetic distance were greater than zero and significant. The genetic distance between Canadienne and Holstein (0.156), Brown Swiss (0.243), and Jersey (0.235) was negligible, suggesting close relationship. Concurrently, Brown Swiss and Holstein (0.211) cattle also demonstrated close relationship. In contrast, the Jersey breed was genetically distant from the Brown Swiss and Holstein cattle (0.427 and 0.320, respectively). The characterization of Canadienne cattle, as part of the genetic resource conservation effort currently underway in Canada, underscores the difficulty in scientifically establishing unique breeds. Therefore, the need to consider all relevant morphological characteristics and production performance in combination with available cultural, historical, pedigree, and molecular information becomes relevant when identifying breeds for conservation.

published proceedings

  • Genome

author list (cited authors)

  • Hansen, C., Shrestha, J., Parker, R. J., Crow, G. H., McAlpine, P. J., & Derr, J. N.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Hansen, C||Shrestha, JNB||Parker, RJ||Crow, GH||McAlpine, PJ||Derr, JN

publication date

  • October 2002

published in