• chicken ecotype;
  • gene pool;
  • genetic diversity;
  • population structure


This study aimed to analyse the genetic diversity and population structure of five Ethiopian chicken ecotypes (= 155), which were compared with six commercial purebreds (= 180). For the analysis of genetic diversity, 26 AVIANDIV microsatellite markers were used. The number of alleles in Ethiopian ecotypes ranged from 2 to 19 per locus, with a mean of 6.1. The average observed heterozygosity within ecotype varied between 0.53 and 0.57. The overall heterozygote deficiency (FIT) in Ethiopian ecotypes was 0.124 ± 0.037. Over 68% of FIT was because of within-ecotype deficiency (FIS). In the phylogenetic tree, Ethiopian ecotypes clustered into two groups. The analysis of the relationship between populations using the structure program provided further evidence for the occurrence of at least two subgroups in the Ethiopian ecotypes. Findings of this study may provide the background for future studies to identify the origin of the two gene pools representing the Ethiopian chicken ecotypes and to characterize the gene variants influencing economically important traits.