Low mitochondrial DNA diversity of Japanese Polled and Kuchinoshima feral cattle

Hideyuki Mannen, Riku Yonesaka, Aoi Noda, Takeshi Shimogiri, Ichiro Oshima, Kiyomi Katahira, Misao Kanemaki, Tetsuo Kunieda, Yousuke Inayoshi, Fumio Mukai, Shinji Sasazaki

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12 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to estimate the mitochondrial genetic diversity and structure of Japanese Polled and Kuchinoshima feral cattle, which are maintained in small populations. We determined the mitochondrial DMA (mtDNA) displacement loop (D-loop) sequences for both cattle populations and analyzed these in conjunction with previously published data from Northeast Asian cattle populations. Our findings showed that Japanese native cattle have a predominant, Asian-specific mtDNA haplogroup T4 with high frequencies (0.43–0.81). This excluded Kuchinoshima cattle (32 animals), which had only one mtDNA haplotype belonging to the haplogroup T3. Japanese Polled showed relatively lower mtDNA diversity in the average sequence divergence (0.0020) than other Wagyu breeds (0.0036–0.0047). Japanese Polled have been maintained in a limited area of Yamaguchi, and the population size is now less than 200. Therefore, low mtDNA diversity in the Japanese Polled could be explained by the decreasing population size in the last three decades. We found low mtDNA diversity in both Japanese Polled and Kuchinoshima cattle. The genetic information obtained in this study will be useful for maintaining these populations and for understanding the origin of Japanese native cattle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-744
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Science Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • Japanese Polled
  • Kuchinoshima feral cattle
  • genetic diversity
  • mtDNA
  • small population size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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