Pedigree analysis for conservation of genetic diversity and purging

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Abstract

Summary

We present an approach to describe and evaluate changes in genetic diversity and to calculate bounds for improvement. This pedigree-based analysis was applied to the Kromfohrländer dog (FCI Gr9 Sec10). Pedigrees trace back to the foundation of the breed and were available for 5527 individuals. Based on this dataset the population structure and historical bottlenecks were studied. Distributions of allele frequencies were estimated by Monte Carlo simulation. To monitor changes in mating systems throughout the breeding history, the homozygosity of alleles was compared with their expectations in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Different breeding lines were identified by hierarchical cluster analysis and were characterized by ancestor contributions. Our calculations showed that the founder event in 1945 was followed by two bottlenecks. One was caused by strong selection in a very small population, and the other was triggered by rigorous disease management. The necessary amount of purging that arised due to the bottlenecks was also discussed.

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