Dwarf Lulu cattle, the only Bos Taurus type of cattle in Nepal, are raised under severe environments in the mountainous zone of that country. In the present study, the body measurement traits, cytogenetic and molecular genetic characteristics of the Lulu cattle are investigated. Blood samples were collected from 31 animals in four villages (altitudes 2590-3550 m) in the southern part of Mustang. The Lulu cattle had a normal karyotype with 2n = 60, XY or XX. Only one male examined had a large submetacentric X-chromosome and a small submetacentric taurine type Y-chromosome. The mitochodrial DNA (mtDNA) genotypes were analyzed by PCR mediated restriction fragment length polymorphisms, displacement (D)-loop region PCR mediated single strand conformation polymorphisms, and D-loop region sequences. Many base substitutions were found in the D-loop region, suggesting that the Lulu cattle originated from at least 10 maternal lines. Three types of mtDNA from these cattle were found, the Bos taurus type (n = 23), the Bos indicus type (n = 6), and the Bos grunniens type (n = 2). In the village at the lowest altitude, four of the five cows were of the Bos indicus type. These results indicated that mtDNA types of the Lulu cattle mostly belong to Bos taurus, but have been hybridized with Bos indicus cattle in lower-elevation regions in their maternal lineage.
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