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Open Access Research article

A homogenous nature of native Chinese duck matrilineal pool

Da-Qian He12, Qing Zhu1, Shi-Yi Chen1, Hui-Ying Wang2, Yi-Ping Liu1* and Yong-Gang Yao3*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agriculture University, Ya'an, Sichuan, PR China

2 Institute of Animal Sciences, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai, PR China

3 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resource and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan, PR China

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BMC Evolutionary Biology 2008, 8:298  doi:10.1186/1471-2148-8-298

Published: 29 October 2008



China, with around 30 unique breeds, has a diverse duck genetic pool. Currently, there is no systematic report which investigates the genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationship, and matrilineal genetic structure of these domestic breeds and wild mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).


In this study, we sequenced the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region segments in 278 domestic ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) from 19 indigenous breeds/populations and 70 wild mallard samples and analyzed them together with the 101 control region sequences from published sources. Fifty-two samples were then sequenced for a cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene fragment to solidify the pattern emerged from the control region sequences. All domestic duck and wild mallard haplotypes were essentially indistinguishable and were clustered together in the phylogenetic tree. There was no geographic differentiation and breed/population-specific distribution of duck lineages.


Our results showed that unlike other domesticated farm animals in China such as chicken, cattle, goat, and yak with multiple matrilineal components, the matrilineal pool of Chinese ducks was homogenous.