|Background: On the Yellow-faced sheep of Kecskemét or Sand-sheep known as a variant of Yellow-faced Berke sheep very little research has been undertaken to date, and the small population, which is mainly found in the southern region of Hungary, is at risk of extinction.
Objectives: In this study blood samples from Yellow-faced sheep of Kecskemét were selected for Control Region (CR) sequencing and subsequent analysis. These were compared with CR data available from GenBank resources and other indigenous Hungarian breeds in order to compare and contrast the differences and similarities between these.
Materials and Methods: A total of 40 individuals from two flocks in the South of Hungary were sampled in 2020. Investigations were performed based on the total number of sites (1174 bps) of the CR.
Results and Discussion: It was revealed that the relative genetic diversity within the Yellow-faced sheep of Kecskemét
haplotype and nucleotide diversity 0.950 and 0.01635, respectively), in comparison to other indigenous breeds, albeit from a limited population, cannot be deemed a narrow genetic pool. The values of the Tajima D test, Fu’s Fs statistic, Fu & Li’s D*- and F* tests were found to be non-significant (in each case p > 0.10). Statistical evaluation does not indicate a lack of alleles. This study demonstrated three haplogroups within the Yellow-faced sheep of Kecskemét population – A, B and C. Haplogroup B was the most prevalent, which is typical for European sheep breeds, given an understanding about their arrival into Europe from the Near East. Haplogroup A was found to a minor frequency. To date, haplogroup C, which is typically demonstrated in sheep from the Central Asia, had only been discovered in one native Hungarian breed: the Cikta, however its presence was also discovered in the Sand-sheep. The examination of the haplogroups seems to confirm the fact that the sheep came to Hungary not only from Asia Minor, but also from the interior of Asia in the past.