Sixteen polymorphic primers screened from 100 random primers were selected to analyze the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) of 540 domesticated black goats (Capra hircas) from 9 different geographical populations in Sichuan Province of China. After the test, 170 entirely repeatable RAPD markers representing goat polymorphisms were obtained from the 16 polymorphic primers, the lengths of the markers ranging from 0.1 to 2.5 kb. The genetic distance among the black goat populations ranges from 0.1051 to 0.2978. The similarity coefficient (0.9002) between Jintang and Lezhi black goats was the highest in the 9 populations, followed by the coefficient (0.8953) between Jialing and Yinshan goats, while that between Jiangan and Huili goats was found to be the lowest (0.7424). The coefficient of differentiation among population genes (Gst) was 0.2766, indicating a comparatively low degree of differentiation among the black goat populations. A UPGMA dendrogram constructed from similarity coefficients showed that the two populations from Huili and Baiyu, which are found mostly on the Western Sichuan plateau and in mountainous areas, clustered together, and the other seven populations formed another group. It can also be clearly seen that the Huili and Baiyu populations are very special, and must have been closely related in the past, even though their link with the other populations is quite weak as a result of genetic communication. The results of the experiment offer some crucial scientific data useful for the breeding of black goats.
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