The Onagadori is a distinguished chicken breed that is characterized by an extremely long tail in the male. In this breed, three different plumage colour varieties have been developed (black-breasted white, black-breasted red and white) in which the black-breasted white is believed to be the original colour of the Onagadori, based on historical records. To establish a conservation strategy, 176 birds were genotyped for autosomal microsatellites. Significant genetic distinctness was found between the original (black-breasted white) and two derivative varieties (F-ST = 0.091 and 0.093). At the same time, a Bayesian model-based clustering revealed that the majority of individuals belonging to the black-breasted red and white varieties had an extremely low proportion of the genome shared with the original type (black-breasted white). This suggests that derivative varieties were created by crossing with other breeds, with low introgression of the original-type genome. We propose that the three plumage colour varieties should be treated as separate genetic units in a conservation programme
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