Status and origin of Egyptian local rabbits in comparison with Spanish common rabbits using mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis

Ahmed Mostafa Emam, Sandra Afonso, Pedro González-Redondo, G.M.K. Mehaisen, A.A.A. Azoz, N.A. Ahmed, N. Fernand


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and cytochrome b (cyt b) gene sequences were used to determine the status of genetic diversity and phylogeny for 132 individuals from local rabbit breeds in Egypt and Spain. The Egyptian local rabbit breeds were Egyptian Red Baladi (ERB), Egyptian Black Baladi (EBB) and Egyptian Gabali Sinai (EGS). However, the Spanish local rabbit breed was Spanish common rabbit (SCR). Previous breeds were compared with European Wild Rabbit taken from Albacete, Spain (EWR). A total of 353 mutations, 290 polymorphic sites, 14 haplotypes, 0.06126 haplotype diversity and –1.900 (P<0.05) for Tajima’s D were defined in this study. Haplotype A mostly occurred in 83.3% of Egyptian rabbits and 11.7 % of EWR, while haplotype B occurred in 63.8% of Spanish rabbits and 36.2% of the EGS breed. A total of 47 domestic and wild Oryctolagus cuniculus published sequences were used to investigate the origin and relation among the rabbit breeds tested in this study. The most common haplotype (A) was combined with 44.7% of published sequences. However, haplotype B was combined with 8.5%. Haplotypes of Egyptian, SCR and EWR were scattered in cluster 1, while we found only one EGS haplotype with two haplotypes of EWR in cluster 2. Our results assumed that genetic diversity for ERB, EBB and SCR was very low. Egyptian breeds and SCR were introduced from European rabbits. We found that ERB and EBB belong to one breed.


Egyptian rabbits; Spanish common rabbit; genetic diversity; mitochondrial DNA

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