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Author(s): M. G. Melka and F. Schenkel
Publication Date: April 12, 0201
Reference: Canadian Journal of Animal Science
Country: Canada


Conservation of animal genetic resources entails judicious assessment of genetic diversity as a first step. The objective of this study was to analyze the trend of within-breed genetic diversity and identify major causes of loss of genetic diversity in four swine breeds based on pedigree data. Pedigree files from Duroc (DC), Hampshire (HP), Lacombe (LC) and Landrace (LR) containing 480 191, 114 871, 51 397 and 1 080 144 records, respectively, were analyzed. Pedigree completeness, quality and depth were determined. Several parameters derived from the in-depth pedigree analyses were used to measure trends and current levels of genetic diversity. Pedigree completeness indexes of the four breeds were 90.4, 52.7, 89.6 and 96.1%, respectively. The estimated percentage of genetic diversity lost within each breed over the last three decades was approximately 3, 22, 12 and 2%, respectively. The relative proportion of genetic diversity lost due to random genetic drift in DC, HP, LC and LR was 74.5, 63.6, 72.9 and 60.0%, respectively. The estimated current effective population size for DC, HP, LC and LR was 72, 14, 36 and 125, respectively. Therefore, HP and LC have been found to have lost considerable genetic diversity, demanding priority for conservation. Download PDF.

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