Transferrin Genetic Types in Fulani and Yoruba Ecotype of Nigeria Indigenous Chickens

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Animal Nutrition and Biotechnology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria

2 Department of Animal Science, Animal Breeding and Genetics Unit, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria


Fulani ecotype chickens (FEC) and Yoruba ecotype chickens (YEC) are the two major types of indigenous chickens in Nigeria. They subsist under traditional Animal husbandry and are thus liable to indiscriminate mating and consequently to loss of genetic diversity. Fulani ecotype chickens (FEC) and Yoruba ecotype chickens (YEC) were investigated to determine genetic variation at transferrin locus using cellulose acetate electrophoresis and to establish genetic relationship within and between the two ecotypes. Direct gene counting method was used to interpret the result after electrophoresis. Palenthological statistics (PAST) was used to generate dendogram which was used to measure genetic similarity. Transferrin was interpreted into six phenotypes (AA, AB, BB, AC and BC) whose inheritance is genetically controlled by three codominant alleles (TfA, TfB and TfC). Gene frequencies of TfA, TfB and TfC were 0.35, 0.2 and 0.43 in Yoruba ecotype chickens (YEC) and 0.21, 0.32 and 0.44 in Fulani ecotype chickens (FEC). While Genotype frequencies were 12.5%, 10%, 75%, 35%, 17.5% and 15% for Yoruba ecotype chickens (YEC) and 11.19%, 2.5%, 16.6%, 22.2% and 27.7% for Fulani ecotype chickens (FEC). Main clusters observed from the dendogram indicated 72% genetic similarity within Fulani ecotype chickens (FEC), 58 % genetic similarity within Yoruba ecotype chickens (YEC) and 70 % genetic similarity between Fulani ecotype chickens (FEC) and Yoruba ecotype chickens (YEC). No genetic relationship existed between transferrin and phenotypic traits (sex, plumage colour and comb type). Conclusively, the two populations were closely related at tranferrin locus. Further study should be extended to other protein markers and DNA level and conservation methods should be initiated to prevent further dilution of these chickens and for future development of Nigeria chicken line breed.


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