Genetic diversity in European pigs utilizing amplified fragment length polymorphism markers

Anim Genet. 2006 Jun;37(3):232-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2006.01440.x.


The use of DNA markers to evaluate genetic diversity is an important component of the management of animal genetic resources. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has published a list of recommended microsatellite markers for such studies; however, other markers are potential alternatives. This paper describes results obtained with a set of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers as part of a genetic diversity study of European pig breeds that also utilized microsatellite markers. Data from 148 AFLP markers genotyped across samples from 58 European and one Chinese breed were analysed. The results were compared with previous analyses of data from 50 microsatellite markers genotyped on the same animals. The AFLP markers had an average within-breed heterozygosity of 0.124 but there was wide variation, with individual markers being monomorphic in 3-98% of the populations. The biallelic and dominant nature of AFLP markers creates a challenge for their use in genetic diversity studies as each individual marker contains limited information and AFLPs only provide indirect estimates of the allelic frequencies that are needed to estimate genetic distances. Nonetheless, AFLP marker-based characterization of genetic distances was consistent with expectations based on breed and regional distributions and produced a similar pattern to that obtained with microsatellites. Thus, data from AFLP markers can be combined with microsatellite data for measuring genetic diversity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • Europe
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genotype
  • Heterozygote
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Swine / classification
  • Swine / genetics*


  • Genetic Markers