In spite of variation in coat color, size, and production traits among indigenous Bangladeshi cattle populations, genetic differences among most of the populations have not been investigated or exploited. In this study, we used a high-density bovine single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 80K Bead Chip derived from Bos indicus breeds to assess genetic diversity and population structure of 2 Bangladeshi zebu cattle populations (red Chittagong, n = 28 and non-descript deshi, n = 28) and a semi-domesticated population (gayal, n = 17). Overall, 95% and 58% of the total SNPs (69,804) showed polymorphisms in the zebu and gayal populations, respectively. Similarly, the average minor allele frequency value was as high 0.29 in zebu and as low as 0.09 in gayal. The mean expected heterozygosity varied from 0.42±0.14 in zebu to 0.148±0.14 in gayal with significant heterozygosity deficiency of 0.06 (F IS) in the latter. Coancestry estimations revealed that the two zebu populations are weakly differentiated, with over 99% of the total genetic variation retained within populations and less than 1% accounted for between populations. Conversely, strong genetic differentiation (FST = 0.33) was observed between zebu and gayal populations. Results of population structure and principal component analyses suggest that gayal is distinct from Bos indicus and that the two zebu populations were weakly structured. This study provides basic information about the genetic diversity and structure of Bangladeshi cattle and the semi-domesticated gayal population that can be used for future appraisal of breed utilization and management strategies.
Keywords: Bangladesh; Domestic Cattle; Gayal; Genome-wide Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Analyses.