Research Article

Genetic distances and phylogenetic trees of different Awassi sheep populations based on DNA sequencing

Published: August 27, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (3) : 6557-6568 DOI: 10.4238/2014.August.26.6

Abstract

This study aimed to estimate evolutionary distances and to reconstruct phylogeny trees between different Awassi sheep populations. Thirty-two sheep individuals from three different geographical areas of Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were randomly sampled. DNA was extracted from the tissue samples and sequenced using the T7 promoter universal primer. Different phylogenetic trees were reconstructed from 0.64-kb DNA sequences using the MEGA software with the best general time reverse distance model. Three methods of distance estimation were then used. The maximum composite likelihood test was considered for reconstructing maximum likelihood, neighbor-joining and UPGMA trees. The maximum likelihood tree indicated three major clusters separated by cytosine (C) and thymine (T). The greatest distance was shown between the South sheep and North sheep. On the other hand, the KSA sheep as an outgroup showed shorter evolutionary distance to the North sheep population than to the others. The neighbor-joining and UPGMA trees showed quite reliable clusters of evolutionary differentiation of Jordan sheep populations from the Saudi population. The overall results support geographical information and ecological types of the sheep populations studied. Summing up, the resulting phylogeny trees may contribute to the limited information about the genetic relatedness and phylogeny of Awassi sheep in nearby Arab countries.

This study aimed to estimate evolutionary distances and to reconstruct phylogeny trees between different Awassi sheep populations. Thirty-two sheep individuals from three different geographical areas of Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) were randomly sampled. DNA was extracted from the tissue samples and sequenced using the T7 promoter universal primer. Different phylogenetic trees were reconstructed from 0.64-kb DNA sequences using the MEGA software with the best general time reverse distance model. Three methods of distance estimation were then used. The maximum composite likelihood test was considered for reconstructing maximum likelihood, neighbor-joining and UPGMA trees. The maximum likelihood tree indicated three major clusters separated by cytosine (C) and thymine (T). The greatest distance was shown between the South sheep and North sheep. On the other hand, the KSA sheep as an outgroup showed shorter evolutionary distance to the North sheep population than to the others. The neighbor-joining and UPGMA trees showed quite reliable clusters of evolutionary differentiation of Jordan sheep populations from the Saudi population. The overall results support geographical information and ecological types of the sheep populations studied. Summing up, the resulting phylogeny trees may contribute to the limited information about the genetic relatedness and phylogeny of Awassi sheep in nearby Arab countries.

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