Seven microsatellite markers were used to study genetic diversity of three Egyptian (Egyptian Baladi, Barki and Zaraibi) and two Italian (Maltese and Montefalcone) goat breeds. The microsatellites showed a high polymorphic information content (PIC) of more than 0.5 in most of the locus–breed combinations and indicated that the loci were useful in assessing within- and between-breed variability of domestic goat (Ca- pra hircus). The expected heterozygosity of the breeds varied from 0.670 to 0.792. In the geographically wider distributed Egyptian Baladi breed there were indications for deviations from random breeding. Analysis of genetic distances and population structure grouped the three Egyptian goat breeds together, and separated them from the two Italian breeds. The studied Mediterranean breeds sampled from African and European populations seem to have differentiated from each other with only little genetic exchange between the geographically isolated populations.
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