Spatial structure of skin follicles in Suri and Huacaya alpacas

Gabriela Molina, Ingrid Teich, Marco Antonini, Carlo Renieri, Antonietta La Terza, Monica Balzarini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present study aimed at characterizing the type and arrangement of skin follicles of Suri and Huacaya alpaca. Samples (11 Suri and 10 Huacaya) were collected by punch skin biopsy from the midside of alpaca and processed for histological study. Each biopsy was examined using projection microscope. Follicular groups were identified and the position of each secondary and primary follicle was recorded. The ratio of secondary to primary follicles (S/P ratio) was compared between breeds using the Wilcoxon test. The spatial structure of the follicles was analyzed with Ripley's K function and the L function. To detect deviations from Complete Spatial Randomness at different spatial scales simulated confidence envelopes were calculated. The S/P ratio did not differ between Huacaya (7.1 ± 0.52) and Suri (7.21 ± 0.62). There is evidence of statistically significant spatial structure of the follicles in both breeds at small spatial scales. However, at a higher spatial scale, the proportion of samples with a clustered spatial structure of follicles was significantly higher in Huacaya. The study of skin follicles spatial pattern opens up new possibilities for improving knowledge of the potential role of skin follicle in alpaca fibre production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22 - 26
Number of pages5
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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