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Genetic evidence for the distinctness of Kangal dogs

Altunok, V
Koban, E
Chikhi, L
Schaffer, A
Pedersen, NC
Nizamlioglu, M
Togan, İnci Zehra
The genetic diversity of Kangal dogs (n=23) was analysed using 100 canine microsatellites, and the results were compared to Central Anatolian feral dogs (n=51), Akbash dogs (n=6), and Turkish greyhounds (TG, n=3). The Kangal, Akbash, Turkish greyhound and feral dogs were found to be significantly different from each other by F-ST measure. Factorial Correspondence Analysis (FCA), which evaluated the span of genotypic variation between individual dogs, yielded 4 distinct groups of the animals. Group I was composed of 12 pure Kangal dogs (Kangal I) without the Kangal looking hybrids of Kangals and feral dogs. Group II contained the remaining 11 Kangal dogs (Kangal II), 1 Turkish greyhound, and all feral dogs except for one. Group III was comprised of the remaining 2 Turkish greyhounds, while Group IV consisted of all of the Akbash dogs. Kangal I, Akbash and Turkish greyhound groups were scattered in different parts of the three-dimensional FCA plot. We conclude that Kangal dogs are genetically distinct and hence they deserve to be identified as a breed. Furthermore, it has been observed that microsatellites can be employed in the conservation efforts of Kangals.