Phenotypic characterization of donkey population in South Omo Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Elsevier, Heliyon, Volume 9, August 2023
Getachew T.B., Kassa A.H., Megersa A.G.

The study conducted in South Omo Zone, Southern Ethiopia with the aim of investigation within population diversification and characterization morphologically that helps to fill the gap of molecular characterization on this population. The data was collected from 500 adult donkeys from both sexes. Quantitative data was subjected to SAS GLM procedures by fitting districts and sex as the main effects. Qualitative data was subjected to a chi-square test with the district as the main effect. Color graph of donkey was done using Microsoft Excel, 2010. For both qualitative and quantitative data, the significance test was conducted at 5% of the level of error, and Tukey multiple range tests were used to separate the significance levels for the two types of data. CANDISC was used to calculate Mahalanobis distances, DISCRIM was used to cluster observations into predetermined groups, and STEPDISC was used to determine the quantitative characteristics that better differentiate populations. Roan coat color cover highest number compare with other coat color of donkey population. Quantitative traits of donkey has variation (P < 0.05) both in study areas and sex of donkeys. Overtly, except height at wither and height at the back Hammer donkey has mostly better metric value than the rest districts of the study areas. Moreover, CANDISC show variation on Hammer and Dasenech districts of donkey population. Furthermore, the longest (6.32) Mahalanobis distance observed in between Hammer and Dasenech donkey population. The Hammer and Dasenech donkey population is where the study fills in population variation the most. This can be because to management or genetics. Therefore, additional research might be required. Furthermore, morphometric measures show that donkey sex is similar, with the exception of heart girth circumference. This can be the result of poor selection, where superior male donkeys are sold for a higher price. Therefore, sound breeding programs should be used to reverse it.