Milk production performance of Ethiopian goats and inputs for Marker-assisted selection: A Review

Zeleke Tesema, Kefyalew Alemayehu


This review was conducted to quantify milk production potential, milk quality of indigenous goats and the role of molecular information for dairy goat genetic improvement. Goat milk is well tolerated by individuals sensitive and allergic to cow milk, has beneficiary effects on health, easily digested, high content of minerals and vitamins. CSN1S1, CSN1S2, CSN2,CSN3, ACACA, DGAT1, DGAT2, ME1, SCD, LPL, LIPE, BTN1A, MFGE, GH, PRLR, PITX2, POUF1, and STAT5 gene are candidate genes whose polymorphism linked with milk yield and composition traits. Knowledge of these genes in dairy goat genetic improvement has potential to substantially increasing selection differences and accuracy of selection. In addition, DNA technologies are used for identification of loci and chromosomal regions that contribute to phenotypic variation in milk traits. Chromosome region 6, 14, 19 & 21 contribute to phenotypic variation in milk yield; 1, 6, 20, and 21 for protein content; 8, 14, and 20 for fat content. Hence, the selection of these chromosomal areas, using marker-assisted selection could lead to increased genetic progress and exploit phenotypic variation. However, the applications of molecular technologies for dairy goat trait selection in Ethiopia were limited, only little effort has been exerted in molecular characterization. There are opportunities to apply molecular information for dairy goat selection in addition to phenotypic selection to improve the milk production potential, utilization and conservation of at least few potential goat breeds. Further works on record keeping, genetic evaluation and characterization for milk production potential, identifying and locating gene responsible for milk traits should be done for Ethiopian indigenous goat breeds.

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