Estimation of biodiversity and population structure of Russian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) breeds inhabiting Northeastern Siberia (Republic of Sakha – Yakutia) using microsatellite markers

Veronika Ruslanovna Kharzinova, Arsen Vladimirovich Dotsev, Anastasia Dmitrievna Solovieva, Valeriy Ivanovich Fedorov, Gottfried Brem, Natalia Anatolievna Zinovieva


Three semi-domesticated reindeer breeds inhabiting the Republic of Sakha – Yakutia have been characterized using nine microsatellite markers. Genomic DNA was isolated from tissue samples of 123 individuals of the Chukotka (Khargin) (CHU, n=47), the Evenk (EVK, n=32) and the Even (EVN, n=44) breeds, collected from different regions of Yakutia. Fragment analysis and sizing were run on ABI 3131xl genetic analyzer. Allele frequencies were calculated and used for the characterization of reindeer breeds and the evaluation of their genetic biodiversity. Nei’s standard genetic distance was calculated and used for the construction of a neighbor-joining tree. Statistical analysis was conducted with GenAIEx 6.5.1, PAST2.15 and STRUCTURE2.3.4 software. The highest number of alleles, such as informative (with a frequency more than 5%), effective (Ne) and private (Pr), was detected in the CHU breed: Na≥5%=5.333±0.441, Ne=4.517±0393 and Pr =1.111±0.389, while the EVN breed had the lowest number: 4.778±0.324, 4.315±0.488 and 0.444±0.242, respectively. The EVN breed occupied an intermediate position (5.000±0.373, 4.408±0.315 and 0.889±0.261). Among reindeer breeds, observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.729 ± 0.026 to 0.608±0.050 with the lowest value found in CHU reindeer and the highest in EVK reindeer. A heterozygotes’ deficiency was observed in all reindeer breeds. At K=3, STRUCTURE analysis matches with the data of Nei's genetic distance dimension results, indicating the presence of a common consistent pattern. CHU and EVK reindeer breeds are characterized by a closer genetic relationship in comparison with the EVN breed, which formed a separate cluster.

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