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Article

Genomic Characterization of the Three Balkan Livestock Guardian Dogs

1
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2
The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH25 9RG, UK
3
Biotechnical Faculty Department of Animal Science, University of Ljubljana, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Roswitha Baumung
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2289; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042289
Received: 12 January 2021 / Revised: 10 February 2021 / Accepted: 16 February 2021 / Published: 20 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Animal Genetic Resources)
Balkan Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD) were bred to help protect sheep flocks in sparsely populated, remote mountainous areas in the Balkans. The aim of this study was genomic characterization (107,403 autosomal SNPs) of the three LGD breeds from the Balkans (Karst Shepherd, Sharplanina Dog, and Tornjak). Our analyses were performed on 44 dogs representing three Balkan LGD breeds, as well as on 79 publicly available genotypes representing eight other LGD breeds, 70 individuals representing seven popular breeds, and 18 gray wolves. The results of multivariate, phylogenetic, clustering (STRUCTURE), and FST differentiation analyses showed that the three Balkan LGD breeds are genetically distinct populations. While the Sharplanina Dog and Tornjak are closely related to other LGD breeds, the Karst Shepherd is a slightly genetically distinct population with estimated influence from German Shepard (Treemix analysis). Estimated genomic diversity was high with low inbreeding in Sharplanina Dog (Ho = 0.315, He = 0.315, and FROH>2Mb = 0.020) and Tornjak (Ho = 0.301, He = 0.301, and FROH>2Mb = 0.033) breeds. Low diversity and high inbreeding were estimated in Karst Shepherds (Ho = 0.241, He = 0.222, and FROH>2Mb = 0.087), indicating the need for proper diversity management. The obtained results will help in the conservation management of Balkan LGD dogs as an essential part of the specific grazing biocultural system and its sustainable maintenance. View Full-Text
Keywords: canine; livestock guardian dogs; conservation management; genomic diversity and characterization canine; livestock guardian dogs; conservation management; genomic diversity and characterization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Janeš, M.; Zorc, M.; Ferenčaković, M.; Curik, I.; Dovč, P.; Cubric-Curik, V. Genomic Characterization of the Three Balkan Livestock Guardian Dogs. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2289. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042289

AMA Style

Janeš M, Zorc M, Ferenčaković M, Curik I, Dovč P, Cubric-Curik V. Genomic Characterization of the Three Balkan Livestock Guardian Dogs. Sustainability. 2021; 13(4):2289. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042289

Chicago/Turabian Style

Janeš, Mateja, Minja Zorc, Maja Ferenčaković, Ino Curik, Peter Dovč, and Vlatka Cubric-Curik. 2021. "Genomic Characterization of the Three Balkan Livestock Guardian Dogs" Sustainability 13, no. 4: 2289. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042289

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