Phenotypic diversity of local goats in northern Mexico

Author: G. Torres-Hernández, L.D. Granados-Rivera, G. Castillo-Hernández, J. González-Maldonado, P. Arenas-Baez; J.A. Maldonado-Jáquez
Year: 2023
Issue: 2
Volume: 53
Page: 148 - 160

The study documented phenotypic diversity of local goats from Comarca Lagunera in northern Mexico. Two hundred and five goats were chosen from 2980 local animals. Morpho-structural and phenotypic traits, age, live weight, body condition, and 33 zoometric characteristics were recorded. Principal components analysis (PCA), factor, and cluster analyses were performed to describe the phenotypic composition of the goats. A dominant phenotype was found without wattles; bearded; backward slanting, erect horns; short hair; hanging tail and ears; straight head profile, with pigmentation in the skin, hooves, mucous membranes, and udder with a patchy coat pattern; where two-colour coated animals were predominant (61%). Height at withers, chest circumference, and lumbosacral height had low variation (<10%). Twenty-two variables had a moderate variation (10–20%). Age, live weight, ear, and horn length, leg width, udder, teats, and length and distance between teats had the greatest variation (>20%). Three components accounted for 34.4% of the total variability observed. The first principal component represented 17.0% of the total variation, while PC2 accounted for 9.9%. The cluster analysis generated four clusters (Clu). Clu1 grouped variables of the trunk, neck, and head; Clu2, the trunk and head; Clu3 limb variables; and Clu4 adaptation to heat and harsh environments. A moderate intrapopulation variability was sufficient to differentiate phenotypically diverse groups in the local goat population of the Comarca Lagunera region. The population has developed diverse mechanisms of adaptation to the environment which can be used to establish genetic improvement schemes in the local goat population of northern Mexico.

Keywords: genetic variability, morphostructure, small ruminants, zoometric measures
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