Cavy genetic diversity

Within the project, cavy populations from two regions in Cameroon and three 'territoires' in Sud-Kivu, eastern DRC, have been sampled to assess genetic diversity of the animal in Africa. Felix Meutchieye from Cameroon and Bertin Bisimwa from DRC (both former ABCF fellows) were in charge of these studies. For his MSc thesis, Rodrigue Ayagirwe from DRC studied genetic diversity of cavies from the uni-modal agro-ecological zone of southern Cameroon (South West and Littoral Regions) - an abstract is available here.

In addition, further molecular analyses are being conducted on cavies from Côte d’Ivoire by the ABCF (Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund) fellow Parfait Kouakou Kouadio.

An overall assessment of genetic diversity has been conducted, pooling all molecular data from Cameroon, eastern DRC and Côte d’Ivoire and comparing them with a few samples from Colombia provided by Carlos Solarte Portilla, Coordinador Programa de Mejoramiento Genético at Universidad de Nariño, Pasto, Colombia, in August 2012.

All individual studies detected high levels of inbreeding. On the other hand, in all countries and regions, distinct sub-populations could be determined that may help overcome the inbreeding challenges. Advice was given accordingly (see the cartoon below).
Bertin provided some feedback on his findings to farmers, traders and other stakeholders during the Innovation Platform (IP) meeting in Kalehe, DRC in February 2013.