Variability of Some Milk-Associated Genes and Proteins in Several Breeds of Saudi Arabian Camels

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Camel, Milk, Variability, Camel breeds, alpha-lactalbumin, casein, polymorphism

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To gain knowledge on the molecular basis of diversity of several clans of Saudi camel (Camelus dromedarius) characterization of these animals was conducted at both genetic and protein levels. To this end, blood and milk samples were collected from several camel breeds at different Saudi Arabia locations (northern Jeddah, Riyadh, and Alwagh governorates). Genomic DNA was extracted from blood of four Saudi camel breeds (Majahem, Safra, Wadha, and Hamara), and DNA fragments of the casein and α-lactalbumin genes were amplified. The retrieved DNA sequences were analyzed for genetic variability. The inter-simple sequence repeat technique was used for confirming the relationships among the analyzed camel breeds, and the PCR–RFLP with two restriction enzymes was utilized for exploring their molecular variations. The number of haplotypes, gene diversity, nucleotide diversity, average number of nucleotide differences, and sequence conservation were calculated for all the analyzed DNA sequences. These analyses revealed the presence of several single nucleotide polymorphisms in the analyzed DNA sequences. A group of neighbor joining trees was built for inferring the evolutionary variations among the studied animals. Protein profiling of milk from different camel clans was also conducted, and differences between and within the Saudi camel clans were easily found based on the isoelectric focusing (IEF) profiles using ampholytes with different IEF range. This study revealed that analyzed camel breeds show low levels of genetic differences. This may be a reflection of the evolutionary history of C. dromedarius that was domesticated based on a highly homogeneous ancestor ecotype.

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The Protein Journal, v. 37, p. 333-352