Characterization of mohair and cashmere in regions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
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tTo generate information on animal fiber quality traits in Central Asia, as a prelude to geneticimprovement, fiber samples of 495 cashmere goats from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and448 mohair goats from these two countries and Kyrgyzstan were characterized. Fixed effectsinvolved location (geographical), animal age and coat color. Fiber traits included greasydown yield for cashmere (GDY, %) and clean yield (CY, %) for mohair; mean down diame-ter (MDD, m) for cashmere and mean fiber diameter (MFD, m) for mohair; coefficientof variation (CV, %) associated with MFD or MDD; comfort factor (CF, %); fiber curvature(Curv,◦/mm) and staple length (SL, mm). Percentages of med, kemp and total medullation(TM) were also obtained for mohair samples. Residual phenotypic correlations betweentraits were calculated. Cashmere GDY, MDD, CV, CF, Curv and SL averaged respectively26.8 ± 0.6%, 17.2 ± 0.1 m, 21.0 ± 0.2%, 98.9 ± 0.2% 69.7 ± 0.5◦/mm and 29.4 ± 0.7 mm. Loca-tion was a significant differentiating factor for all cashmere traits. Significant GDY decreaseand MDD increase was observed with age. The SL was highly correlated with GDY, MDDand CF (0.63, 0.65 and −0.64, respectively), and so was GDY with MDD (0.78). MohairCY, MFD, CV, CF, Curv and SL averaged respectively 76.7 ± 0.3%, 29.3 ± 0.2 m, 29.5 ± 0.2%,60.5 ± 1.0%, 48.5 ± 0.2◦/mm, and 176.9 ± 1.9 mm, whereas med, kemp and TM averagedrespectively 5.7 ± 0.3, 5.5 ± 0.3 and 11.2 ± 0.6%. Significant location differences were foundfor mohair CY, MFD, CF, Curv, SL, kemp and TM, along with a significant MFD increase and CFdecrease with age. All variables, except CY, differentiated according to coat colors. CY washighly correlated with MFD (0.70), SL (0.80), CF (−0.72), Curv (−0.81) and kemp (−0.70).The mohair MFD was also highly correlated with CF (−0.99), Curv (−0.81), SL (0.70) and FM(0.64). The study detected important variability for fiber quality traits in view of (1) hetero-geneity for all studied cashmere traits, except for CF, and in all studied mohair traits, and (2)significant location differences for most important quality traits in cashmere and mohair.This suggests that a good base for fiber quality improvement is in place in the region.