The serum transferrin and post-albumin phenotype distributions of 228 Sahiwal, 138 Nganda, 265 Boran, 114 Tanganyika Shorthorned Zebu, 72 Teso and 267 Ankole cattle from East Africa were determined.
Five transferrin alleles, TfA, TfB, TfD, TfE, and TfF were present in all the breeds examined, and a sixth allele, TfG, was present in three of the Borans. TfE and TfF were the most frequent alleles, except in the Nganda cattle where TfA was the most frequent. TfB had a frequency of less than 0·1 in each breed. Two post-albumin alleles, PaF and Pas, were present in each breed. In each breed except Sahiwal PaF was two to three times more frequent than Pas. In the Sahiwal PaF and Pas had about the same frequency. It was concluded that both transferrin and post-albumin gene frequencies in East African cattle differ significantly from the corresponding frequencies in European cattle.
There was no evidence of an excess of heterozygotes in the post-albumin system other than that expected from the use of relatively small numbers of bulls in these herds. However, allowing for the same factor in the transferrin system, there appeared to be an excess of transferrin heterozygotes in the cattle populations sampled although the extent of this excess could not be calculated accurately.