Discipline: Veterinary Medicine
DNA barcodes (i.e. cytochrome c oxidase subunit I or COI in the mitochondrial genome) obtained from fourteen (14) domesticated duck breeds, strains, and hybrids (Anatidae) in the Philippines were analyzed using the Neighbour-Joining method based on Kimura 2-parameter model in MEGA5. Based on 642 COI positions, overall genetic diversity was 14.6%. Average genetic variation within duck groups was highest among introduced mallard breeds (17.6%), intermediate among hybrid ducks (16.2%), and lowest among Philippine mallard strains (15.4%). Our analyses indicated that DNA barcodes can be effective to identify and differentiate duck breeds, strains, and hybrids. Closer genetic distance between Laguna “mule” duck with Pekin and Philippine mallard strains was observed, than with Muscovy. DNA barcoding also provided insights into evolutionary processes in the development of egg-type mallard strains and their relationships with introduced mallard breeds. COI sequences should be determined from more duck breeds, strains, and hybrids to catalogue domesticated duck biodiversity and benefit breed traceability as well as breed definition for conservation issues. Genetic diversity information from DNA barcodes in addition to phenotypic performance standards and pedigree records may be used to set conservation and improvement priorities and determine which breed or strain needing more detailed phylogenetic analysis.