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Open AccessArticle

Genetic Variability and Management in Nero di Parma Swine Breed to Preserve Local Diversity

Dipartimento di Scienze Medico-Veterinarie, University of Parma Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, Italy
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Animals 2020, 10(3), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030538
Received: 18 February 2020 / Revised: 21 March 2020 / Accepted: 22 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morpho-Functional and Genetic Characterization of Local Breeds)
The Nero di Parma is an Italian pig breed with a peculiar breed history. It originates from a native breed called “Nera Parmigiana”, which, in the beginning of the 20th century, was crossed with highly productive breeds, causing the extinction of the original type in the 1970s. During the 1990s a growing interest for organic products and outdoor farming brought the attention back to the local type and a breed recovery project started to reestablish the original breed. The aim of the study was to investigate the genetic diversity of the Nero di Parma breed to provide further insights for breed conservation and to propose breeding strategies.
Nero di Parma is an endangered swine breed reared in the North of Italy which nowadays counts 1603 alive pigs. The aims of this study were (i) to explore the genetic diversity of the breed at pedigree level to determine the actual genetic structure, (ii) to evaluate the effectiveness of the breeding recovery project and (iii) to potentially propose breeding strategies for the coming generations. The pedigree dataset contained 14,485 animals and was used to estimate demographic and genetic parameters. The mean equivalent complete generations was equal to 6.47 in the whole population, and it reached a mean value of 7.94 in the live animals, highlighting the quality of the available data. Average inbreeding was 0.28 in the total population, whereas it reached 0.31 in the alive animals and it decreased to 0.27 if only breeding animals were considered. The rate of inbreeding based on the individual increase in inbreeding was equal to 7%. This study showed the effectiveness of the recovery project of the breed. Nevertheless, we found that inbreeding and genetic diversity have reached alarming levels, therefore novel breeding strategies must be applied to ensure long-term survival of this breed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nero di Parma; pig; conservation; genetic diversity; pedigree; breeding strategies; inbreeding; biodiversity; autochthonous Nero di Parma; pig; conservation; genetic diversity; pedigree; breeding strategies; inbreeding; biodiversity; autochthonous
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Mariani, E.; Summer, A.; Ablondi, M.; Sabbioni, A. Genetic Variability and Management in Nero di Parma Swine Breed to Preserve Local Diversity. Animals 2020, 10, 538.

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