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posted on 19.02.2018 by Fangyuan Yin, Zhijie Liu, Junlong Liu, Aihong Liu, Diaeldin A. Salih, Youquan Li, Guangyuan Liu, Jianxun Luo, Guiquan Guan, Hong Yin

Theileria annulata, a tick-borne apicomplexan protozoan, causes a lymphoproliferative disease of cattle with high prevalence in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Understanding the genetic diversity and structure of local populations will provide more fundamental knowledge for the population genetics and epidemics of protozoa. In this study, 78 samples of T. annulata collected from cattle/yaks representing 6 different geographic populations in China were genotyped using eight micro- and mini-satellite markers. High genetic variation within population, moderate genetic differentiation, and high level of diversity co-occurring with significant linkage disequilibrium were observed, which indicates there is gene flow between these populations in spite of the existence of reproductive and geographical barriers among populations. Furthermore, some degree of genetic differentiation was also found between samples from China and Oman. These findings provide a first glimpse of the genetic diversity of the T. annulata populations in China, and might contribute to the knowledge of distribution, dynamics, and epidemiology of T. annulata populations and optimize the management strategies for control.

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