Microsatellite diversity of the Nordic type of goats in relation to breed conservation: how relevant is pure ancestry?

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  • J A Lenstra, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
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  • J Tigchelaar, Stichting Zeldzame Huisdierrassen, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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  • I Biebach, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland;
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  • Econogene Consortium
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  • J H Hallsson, Faculty of Land and Animal Resources, Agricultural University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.
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  • J Kantanen, Green Technology, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Jokioinen, Finland.
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  • Vivi Hunnicke Nielsen
  • F Pompanon, Universite Grenoble Alpes, France.
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  • S Naderi, Environmental Sciences Department, Natural Resources Faculty, University of Guilan, Guilan, Iran.
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  • H-R Rezaei, Environmental Sciences Department, Gorgan University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran.
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  • N Saether, Norwegian Genetic Resource Centre, Ås, Norway.
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  • O Ertugrul, Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Ankara University, 06110, Diskapi, Ankara, Turkey.
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  • C Grossen, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland;
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  • G Camenisch, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland;
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  • M Vos-Loohuis, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
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  • M van Straten, Stichting Zeldzame Huisdierrassen, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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  • E A de Poel, Stichting Zeldzame Huisdierrassen, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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  • J Windig, Animal Sciences Group and Centre for Genetic Resources-Wageningen UR, Lelystad, The Netherlands.
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  • K Oldenbroek, Stichting Zeldzame Huisdierrassen, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

In the last decades, several endangered breeds of livestock species have been re-established effectively. However, the successful revival of the Dutch and Danish Landrace goats involved crossing with exotic breeds and the ancestry of the current populations is therefore not clear. We have generated genotypes for 27 FAO-recommended microsatellites of these landraces and three phenotypically similar Nordic-type landraces and compared these breeds with central European, Mediterranean and south-west Asian goats. We found decreasing levels of genetic diversity with increasing distance from the south-west Asian domestication site with a south-east-to-north-west cline that is clearly steeper than the Mediterranean east-to-west cline. In terms of genetic diversity, the Dutch Landrace comes next to the isolated Icelandic breed, which has an extremely low diversity. The Norwegian coastal goat and the Finnish and Icelandic landraces are clearly related. It appears that by a combination of mixed origin and a population bottleneck, the Dutch and Danish Land-races are separated from the other breeds. However, the current Dutch and Danish populations with the multicoloured and long-horned appearance effectively substitute for the original breed, illustrating that for conservation of cultural heritage, the phenotype of a breed is more relevant than pure ancestry and the genetic diversity of the original breed. More in general, we propose that for conservation, the retention of genetic diversity of an original breed and of the visual phenotype by which the breed is recognized and defined needs to be considered separately.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Vol/bind134
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)78-84
Antal sider7
ISSN0931-2668
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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