Vacca, Giuseppe Massimo and Chianese, Lina and Ghibellini, Antonella and Carcangiu, Vincenzo and Mauriello, Rosalba and Bini, Pier Paolo (2003) αS1-casein genetic variants in Sarda goat breed. Italian Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 2 (Suppl. 1), p. 55-57. eISSN 1828-051X. Article.
Sardinia plays an important role in Italian goat breeding; this is due not only to the high extent of its patrimony and production, but also to the fact that the main breed, the Sarda goat, represents an interesting biodiversity source. As regards the morphologic variability, marked differences between subjects reared in the coast and mountain areas were found (Macciotta et al., 2002). These differences are due to the genetic selection on the autochthonous patrimony, set up by breeders and based on coat colour, horn presence and/or on functional criteria (udder shape). The need to improve milk yields also induced various breeders, mainly in those areas with better pasture conditions, to crossbreed the Sarda goats with more productive breeds. The present situation (Pazzola et al., 2002) shows how in the East coastal region (Sarrabus, Ogliastra and Baronia) and in the central mountain areas of Sardinia (Barbagia), subjects with more rural traits are reared (smaller size, small ears, presence of horns, etc.); while in the South and West areas (Sulcis and Guspinese) the influence of the Maltese breed is more evident. Both the productive traits variability (Brandano et al., 1978), and the morphologic aspect, is of great interest. Genetic variability can influence the survival of a sector hindered by the opening of the markets and by the strong competitiveness of zootechnical areas technologically more advanced. According to this point of view, considering that casein fractions are closely related to milk technological characteristics (Grosclaude et al., 1994), and to its possible productive differentiation (Remeuf, 1993), a study on αS1-casein allelic frequency was carried out, related also to the breeding region. The aim of the study is to acquire useful information in order to suggest an appropriate utilization of milk, to detect possible new alleles and to test the correlation between casein phenotype and morphology of the animals.
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