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Article

Genetic Diversity and the Impact of the Breed Proportions of US Brown Swiss in German Brown Cattle

1
Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Foundation), 30559 Hannover, Germany
2
Landeskuratorium der Erzeugerringe für Tierische Veredelung in Bayern e.V. (LKV), 80687 München, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2021, 11(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010152
Received: 1 December 2020 / Revised: 28 December 2020 / Accepted: 5 January 2021 / Published: 11 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
The main aim of modern breeding programs in dairy cows is to improve productivity, functional and health traits. The use of only a few top sires leads to more efficient milk production, but also it could lead to a decline in the gene pool, smaller effective population size and an increase of inbreeding. Deleterious effects of inbreeding in dairy cattle may reduce the benefits of the genetic gains. Due to this fact, it is important to monitor the genetic diversity in dairy cattle breeds. In this study, pedigree data were used to show the losses of genetic variability and its association with the heavy use of imported US Brown Swiss bulls and semen in the German Brown population. Strategies to decrease rate of inbreeding through sires with less relationships to the most important ancestors should be considered in future breeding strategies.
Increase of inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity have large impact on farm animal genetic resources. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to analyse measures of genetic diversity as well as recent and ancestral inbreeding using pedigree data of the German Brown population, and to identify causes for loss of genetic diversity. The reference population included 922,333 German Brown animals born from 1990 to 2014. Pedigree depth and completeness reached an average number of complete equivalent generations of 6.24. Estimated effective population size for the German Brown reference population was about 112 with a declining trend from 141 to 95 for the birth years. Individual inbreeding coefficients increased from 0.013 to 0.036. Effective number of founders, ancestors and founder genomes of 63.6, 36.23 and 20.34 indicated unequal contributions to the reference population. Thirteen ancestors explained 50% of the genetic diversity. Higher breed proportions of US Brown Swiss were associated with higher levels of individual inbreeding. Ancestral inbreeding coefficients, which are indicative for exposure of ancestors to identical-by-descent alleles, increased with birth years but recent individual inbreeding was higher than ancestral inbreeding. Given the increase of inbreeding and decline of effective population size, measures to decrease rate of inbreeding and increase effective population size through employment of a larger number of sires are advisable. View Full-Text
Keywords: German Brown; inbreeding; ancestral inbreeding; probability of gene origin; genetic diversity; breed proportions of US Brown Swiss German Brown; inbreeding; ancestral inbreeding; probability of gene origin; genetic diversity; breed proportions of US Brown Swiss
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wirth, A.; Duda, J.; Distl, O. Genetic Diversity and the Impact of the Breed Proportions of US Brown Swiss in German Brown Cattle. Animals 2021, 11, 152. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010152

AMA Style

Wirth A, Duda J, Distl O. Genetic Diversity and the Impact of the Breed Proportions of US Brown Swiss in German Brown Cattle. Animals. 2021; 11(1):152. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010152

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wirth, Anna, Jürgen Duda, and Ottmar Distl. 2021. "Genetic Diversity and the Impact of the Breed Proportions of US Brown Swiss in German Brown Cattle" Animals 11, no. 1: 152. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010152

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