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Concept: Goats


This experiment was aimed to determine proper physical traits in the diet for goats by investigating the effects of physically effective neutral detergent fiber (peNDF) content on dry matter intake (DMI), digestibility, and chewing activity in black goats fed with total mixed ration (TMR).

Concepts: Energy, Chemistry, Thermodynamics, Cheese, Goat, Diet of Japan, Capra, Goats


The decrease in sequencing cost and increased sophistication of assembly algorithms for short-read platforms has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of species with genome assemblies. However, these assemblies are highly fragmented, with many gaps, ambiguities, and errors, impeding downstream applications. We demonstrate current state of the art for de novo assembly using the domestic goat (Capra hircus) based on long reads for contig formation, short reads for consensus validation, and scaffolding by optical and chromatin interaction mapping. These combined technologies produced what is, to our knowledge, the most continuous de novo mammalian assembly to date, with chromosome-length scaffolds and only 649 gaps. Our assembly represents a ∼400-fold improvement in continuity due to properly assembled gaps, compared to the previously published C. hircus assembly, and better resolves repetitive structures longer than 1 kb, representing the largest repeat family and immune gene complex yet produced for an individual of a ruminant species.

Concepts: DNA, Milk, Mammal, Livestock, Ruminant, Goat, Capra, Goats


Recently, comparative research on the mechanisms and species-specific adaptive values of attributing attentive states and using communicative cues has gained increased interest, particularly in non-human primates, birds, and dogs. Here, we investigate these phenomena in a farm animal species, the dwarf goat (Capra aegagrus hircus). In the first experiment, we investigated the effects of different human head and body orientations, as well as human experimenter presence/absence, on the behaviour of goats in a food-anticipating paradigm. Over a 30-s interval, the experimenter engaged in one of four different postures or behaviours (head and body towards the subject-‘Control’, head to the side, head and body away from the subject, or leaving the room) before delivering a reward. We found that the level of subjects' active anticipatory behaviour was highest in the control condition and decreased with a decreasing level of attention paid to the subject by the experimenter. Additionally, goats ‘stared’ (i.e. stood alert) at the experimental set-up for significantly more time when the experimenter was present but paid less attention to the subject (‘Head’ and ‘Back’ condition) than in the ‘Control’ and ‘Out’ conditions. In a second experiment, the experimenter provided different human-given cues that indicated the location of a hidden food reward in a two-way object choice task. Goats were able to use both ‘Touch’ and ‘Point’ cues to infer the correct location of the reward but did not perform above the level expected by chance in the ‘Head only’ condition. We conclude that goats are able to differentiate among different body postures of a human, including head orientation; however, despite their success at using multiple physical human cues, they fail to spontaneously use human head direction as a cue in a food-related context.

Concepts: Psychology, Human, Mammal, Primate, Livestock, Goat, Capra, Goats


The domestic goat (Capra hircus) plays a key role in global agriculture, being especially prized in regions of marginal pasture. However, the advent of industrialized breeding has seen a dramatic reduction in genetic diversity within commercial populations, while high extinction rates among feral herds have further depleted the reservoir of genetic variation available. Here, we present the first survey of whole mitochondrial genomic variation among the modern and historical goat populations of Britain and Ireland using a combination of mtDNA enrichment and high throughput sequencing. Fifteen historical taxidermy samples, representing the indigenous ‘Old Goat’ populations of the islands, were sequenced alongside five modern Irish dairy goats and four feral samples from endangered populations in western Ireland. Phylogenetic and network analyses of European mitochondrial variation revealed distinct groupings dominated by historical British and Irish samples, which demonstrate a degree of maternal genetic structure between the goats of insular and continental Europe. Several Irish modern feral samples also fall within these clusters, suggesting continuity between these dwindling populations and the ancestral ‘Old Goats’ of Ireland and Britain.

Concepts: Milk, Butter, New Zealand, Ireland, Livestock, Neolithic, Goat, Goats


The Tibetan cashmere goat (Capra hircus), one of the most ancient breeds in China, has historically been a critical source of meat and cashmere production for local farmers. To adapt to the high-altitude area, extremely harsh climate, and hypoxic environment that the Tibetan cashmere goat lives in, this goat has developed distinct phenotypic traits compared to lowland breeds. However, the genetic components underlying this phenotypic adaptation remain largely unknown.

Concepts: Milk, Livestock, Goat, Adaptation, Cashmere goat, Goats


Inner Mongolia and Liaoning cashmere goats are two outstanding Chinese multipurpose breeds that adapt well to the semi-arid temperate grassland. These two breeds are characterized by their soft cashmere fibers, thus making them great models to identify genomic regions that are associated with cashmere fiber traits. Whole-genome sequencing of 70 cashmere goats produced more than 5.52 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms and 710,600 short insertions and deletions. Further analysis of these genetic variants showed some population-specific molecular markers for the two cashmere goat breeds that are otherwise phenotypically similar. By analyzing F ST and θπ outlier values, we identified 135 genomic regions that were associated with cashmere fiber traits within the cashmere goat populations. These selected genomic regions contained genes, which are potential involved in the production of cashmere fiber, such as FGF5, SGK3, IGFBP7, OXTR, and ROCK1. Gene ontology enrichment analysis of identified short insertions and deletions also showed enrichment in keratinocyte differentiation and epidermal cell differentiation. These findings demonstrate that this genomic resource will facilitate the breeding of cashmere goat and other Capra species in future.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Livestock, Goat, Cashmere goat, Goats, Goat breeds, Cashmere wool


Goats are the Pakistan’s fastest growing ruminants, and Pakistan is the third largest goat producer in the world after India and China. Goat meat preference is the main reason for its increased demand. In the country, there are 25 goat breeds and two wild relatives such as Mark and Goats. At present, Pakistan has 53.8 million goats, according to the 2006 GOP report, and their population growth rate was more than 3% per year (37, 23, 22, and 18% of the goat population in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and NWFP, respectively). Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) belongs to the family Paramyxoviridae and is considered to be one of the major constraints on increasing the productivity of goats and sheep in the areas where they exist and become local. It is closely related to cattle and buffalo rinderpest virus, dogs and other wild predator distemper virus, human measles virus, and marine mammalian measles virus. The present study aimed to determine the screening of the PPRV, Capra Hircus Lin. population, in the Khairpur Mirs District, Sindh, Pakistan. We selected 290 goats for serum sample collection and analysis using competitive ELISA kits according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Our results showed that 59 (64%) of the 92 clinical cases were positive and 33 (36%) were seronegative. The study concluded that PPR might be more prevalent in the Khairpur District. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to use homologous PPR-attenuated vaccines to prevent lethal virus attacks that control PPR in the country.

Concepts: Meat, Canine distemper, Measles, Livestock, Goat, Pakistan, Sindh, Goats


Domestic goats (Capra hircus) are spread across the five continents with a census of 1 billion individuals. The worldwide population of goats descends from a limited number of bezoars (Capra aegagrus) domesticated 10 000 YBP (years before the present) in the Fertile Crescent. The extraordinary adaptability and hardiness of goats favoured their rapid spread over the Old World, reaching the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Africa 7000 YBP and 2000 YBP respectively. Molecular studies have revealed one major mitochondrial haplogroup A and five less frequent haplogroups B, C, D, F and G. Moreover, the analysis of autosomal and Y-chromosome markers has evidenced an appreciable geographic differentiation. The implementation of new molecular technologies, such as whole-genome sequencing and genome-wide genotyping, allows for the exploration of caprine diversity at an unprecedented scale, thus providing new insights into the evolutionary history of goats. In spite of a number of pitfalls, the characterization of the functional elements of the goat genome is expected to play a key role in understanding the genetic determination of economically relevant traits. Genomic selection and genome editing also hold great potential, particularly for improving traits that cannot be modified easily by traditional selection.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Butter, Livestock, Neolithic, Haplogroup, Capra, Goats


Bronchopneumonia is a population limiting disease of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) that has been associated with contact with domestic Caprinae. The disease is polymicrobial but is initiated by Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, which is commonly carried by both domestic sheep (O. aries) and goats (Capra aegagrus hircus). However, while previous bighorn sheep comingling studies with domestic sheep have resulted in nearly 100% pneumonia mortality, only sporadic occurrence of fatal pneumonia was reported from previous comingling studies with domestic goats. Here, we evaluated the ability of domestic goats of defined M. ovipneumoniae carriage status to induce pneumonia in comingled bighorn sheep.

Concepts: Livestock, Goat, Domestic sheep, Ovis, Capra, Mouflon, Bighorn Sheep, Goats


The epidemiological, clinical and pathological aspects of a spontaneous outbreak of Palicourea aeneofusca poisoning in goats are reported. The main clinical signs were motor incoordination, generalized muscle tremors, broad-based posture, tachypnea, tachycardia, vocalization and respiratory distress. Two goats died 5 and 20 min after the observation of the first clinical signs. Another that was found recumbent died 80 h later. One goat with mild clinical signs recovered. Congestion and hemorrhages were observed macroscopically and histologically in most organs. Pulmonary edema was also observed. The main microscopic findings consisted of cytoplasmic vacuolization and necrosis of the renal tubular epithelium. The average concentration of MFA obtained in sixteen samples of P. aeneofusca was 0.29 ± 0.17% monofluoroacetate. It is concluded that P. aeneofusca is toxic to goats under natural conditions.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Death, Pulmonology, Biology, Heart, Nature, Pulmonary edema, Goats