Using genome-wide information to minimize the loss of diversity in conservation programmes

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We study here the effect of using genome-wide marker data versus genealogical data in population management for the maintenance of diversity in conservation schemes using optimal contributions. We re-examine the benefits of using molecular data for different population and genome sizes and compare different management strategies according to the group of individuals where we take decisions (parents or offspring). We also study the consequences of using estimated genealogical coancestries calculated from molecular information. Using genome-wide marker data performed usually better than using genealogical data or estimated genealogical coancestry to maintain expected and observed heterozygosity. Furthermore, when we could take decisions acting on the offspring, a larger heterozygosity was maintained than when we based our decisions on the potential parents.

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