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Genetic and Population Structure of Croatian Local Donkey Breeds

Department of Animal Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska Cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
DAFNAE—Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals, and Environment, University of Padova, Via dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, PD, Italy
Agency for Rural Development of Istria, Ulica Tugomila Ujčića 1, 52000 Pazin, Croatia
Department of Livestock Production, Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food, Vinkovačka Cesta 63c, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Tatiana Deniskova and Luc Legal
Diversity 2022, 14(5), 322;
Received: 25 March 2022 / Revised: 20 April 2022 / Accepted: 20 April 2022 / Published: 21 April 2022
The two native Croatian donkey breeds (Littoral-Dinaric donkey and Istrian donkey) were marginalized in the second half of the 20th century and were on the verge of biological extinction. The aim of this study was to analyze the demographic and genetic status of two donkey breeds, two decades after the start of protection by analyzing their pedigrees and genetic structure. The average generation interval was higher for the Istrian donkey (7.73) than for the Littoral-Dinaric donkey (7.27). The rate of the effective number of founders compared with the effective number of ancestors in the Littoral-Dinaric donkey (1.03; 325/316) and in the Istrian donkey (1.08; 70/65) revealed no evidence of a genetic bottleneck. The inbreeding coefficient (F) and the average relatedness coefficient (AR) was lower in the Littoral-Dinaric donkey population (0.99%; 0.13%) than in the Istrian donkey population (1.77%; 1.10%). Genetic microsatellite analysis showed relatively high genetic diversity in Littoral-Dinaric donkey and Istrian donkey breeds, expressed by mean allele number (5.92; 5.85) and expected heterozygosity (0.650; 0.653). Genetic differentiation between the Littoral-Dinaric donkey and the Istrian donkey has not significantly increased in the last two decades (FST = 0.028). Genetic analysis also showed no evidence of high inbreeding or genetic bottleneck in both breeds. A total of 11 haplotypes including 28 polymorphic sites were found in 30 samples. Analysis of mtDNA has shown that the Littoral-Dinaric donkey and Istrian donkey breeds belong to the Equus asinus africanus group. The study confirms the need to use different analytical approaches to get a regular and complete insight into the situation and trends within and between breeds, so that the existing diversity can be fully preserved. View Full-Text
Keywords: ass native breeds; asinine diversity; genetic resources conservation ass native breeds; asinine diversity; genetic resources conservation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ivanković, A.; Bittante, G.; Šubara, G.; Šuran, E.; Ivkić, Z.; Pećina, M.; Konjačić, M.; Kos, I.; Kelava Ugarković, N.; Ramljak, J. Genetic and Population Structure of Croatian Local Donkey Breeds. Diversity 2022, 14, 322.

AMA Style

Ivanković A, Bittante G, Šubara G, Šuran E, Ivkić Z, Pećina M, Konjačić M, Kos I, Kelava Ugarković N, Ramljak J. Genetic and Population Structure of Croatian Local Donkey Breeds. Diversity. 2022; 14(5):322.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ivanković, Ante, Giovanni Bittante, Gordan Šubara, Edmondo Šuran, Zdenko Ivkić, Mateja Pećina, Miljenko Konjačić, Ivica Kos, Nikolina Kelava Ugarković, and Jelena Ramljak. 2022. "Genetic and Population Structure of Croatian Local Donkey Breeds" Diversity 14, no. 5: 322.

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