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Data from: Local and global patterns of admixture and population structure in Iranian native cattle

Cite this dataset

Karimi, Karim et al. (2017). Data from: Local and global patterns of admixture and population structure in Iranian native cattle [Dataset]. Dryad.


Background: Two separate domestication events gave rise to humped zebu cattle in India and humpless taurine cattle in the Fertile Crescent of the Near and Middle East. Iran covers the Eastern side of the Fertile Crescent and exhibits a variety of native cattle breeds, however, only little is known about the admixture patterns of Iranian cattle and their contribution to the formation of modern cattle breeds. Results: Genome-wide data (700k chip) of eight Iranian cattle breeds (Sarabi N=19, Kurdi N=7, Taleshi N=7, Mazandarani N=10, Najdi N=7, Pars N=7, Kermani N=9, and Sistani N=9) were collected from across Iran. For a local assessment, taurine (Holstein and Jersey) and indicine (Brahman) outgroup samples were used. For the global perspective, 134 world-wide cattle breeds were included. Between breed variation amongst Iranian cattle explained 60% (p<0.001) of the total molecular variation and 82.88% (p<0.001) when outgroups were included. Several migration edges were observed within the Iranian cattle breeds. The highest indicine proportion was found in Sistani. All Iranian breeds with higher indicine ancestry were more admixed with a complex migration pattern. Nineteen founder populations most accurately explained the admixture of 44 selected representative cattle breeds (standard error 0.4617). Low levels of African ancestry were identified in Iranian cattle breeds (on average 7.5%); however, the signal did not persist through all analyses. Admixture and migration analyses revealed minimal introgression from Iranian cattle into other taurine cattle (Holstein, Hanwoo, Anatolian breeds). Conclusion: The eight Iranian cattle breeds feature a discrete genetic composition which should be considered in conservation programs aimed at preserving unique species and genetic diversity. Despite a complex admixture pattern among Iranian cattle breeds, there was no strong introgression from other world-wide cattle breeds into Iranian cattle and vice versa. Considering Iran’s central location of cattle domestication, Iranian cattle might represent a local domestication event that remained contained and did not contribute to the formation of modern breeds, or genetics of the ancestral population that gave rise to modern cattle is too diluted to be linked directly to any current cattle breeds.

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