Phenotypic and genetic differentiation of qualitative traits in sheep ecotype from Cameroon Western Highlands

Yannick Tadakeng Djoufack, Félix Meutchieye, Yacouba Manjeli


This study was carried out in the highlands zone, west region of Cameroon to evaluate the distribution and frequency of sheep qualitative traits. Four hundred and three (403) adult sheep were randomly sampled in the study area. The qualitative traits observed were the presence or not of toggles, beard, horns and the sheep coat color (white, black, white-black and white-brown). The main results showed that the traits observed were variable according to the locality and sex of the animal. The sheep from the Bamboutos Division have the highest toggles frequency (21.69%) compared to those of the Noun Division whose frequency was the lowest (11.67%). Toggles were present in both sexes with higher frequency of 18.18% in females compared to the males (9.47%). Beard was almost non-existent in the two localities as well as in the two sexes. Horns were present in sheep of all the investigated localities and in both sexes, with higher frequency in males (90.53%) compared to females (8.12%). The action of the gene responsible for the color of the coat was variable as far as any locality was concerned. The predominant color observed was white. The gene frequencies recorded for the presence of the toggles (Waw), beard (Brb) and horns (HoP) were 0.06%, 0.00% and 0.35%, respectively. These values were far below the expected Mendelian value of 0.75. These low frequencies observed would indicate that the sheep populations of the highlands of the west region of Cameroon were variegated without proper actions of artificial selection, opening ways for genetic improvement.



Phenotypes- Sheep – qualitative traits − gene frequencies – West Cameroon

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