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Article

Evaluation of the Conservation Status of the Croatian Posavina Horse Breed Based on Pedigree and Microsatellite Data

1
Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2
Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and Environment (DAFNAE), University of Padova, Via dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: András Gáspárdy
Animals 2021, 11(7), 2130; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072130
Received: 20 June 2021 / Revised: 15 July 2021 / Accepted: 16 July 2021 / Published: 18 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endangered Rare Livestock Breeds)
Conservation of local horse breeds as part of animal genetic resources is of national and global importance. Monitoring of local breeds is often fragmentary, i.e., it involves analysis of pedigrees, phenotype, and genetic structure. Using the Croatian Posavina horse as an example, we analyzed the status of the population with regard to available pedigree information, phenotype measures of stallions and mares, and genetic structure based on microsatellites. The generation interval is about eight years, indicating relatively early involvement of animals in reproduction for economic use of the breed. The depth of the pedigree is relatively modest due to a relatively short period of systematic breeding work (two decades). The number of active sire-lines and mare-lines is favorable and forms a good basis for the preservation of the breed. Regarding conformation, the Croatian Posavina horse kept the recognizability of the small-sized horse breed in the coldblooded type, in which there are clear traces of the earlier controlled introduction of the Arabian and other breeds. Its genetic diversity component has been preserved. The above results are a guide for further implementation of effective programs for the conservation of endangered local horse breeds.
The Croatian Posavina horse (CPH) is native Croatian breed under a conservation program and under various programs of economic use (ecosystem services, agrotourism, and meat production). The aim of this study was to analyze the status of the CPH population through an analysis of their pedigree (28,483 records), phenotype (292 licensed stallions, 255 mares), and genetic structure (292 licensed stallions). The average generation interval was 8.20 years, and the number of complete generations was 1.66. The effective number of founders and ancestors was 138 and 107, respectively, with a ratio of 1.29, and the genetic conservation index was 4.46. As for the morphometric characteristics, the average withers height of the stallions was 142.79 cm, the chest circumference was 194.28 cm, and the cannon bone circumference was 22.34. In mares, the withers height, chest, and cannon bone circumference were lower (139.71 cm, 190.30 cm, and 20.94 cm, respectively). Genetic microsatellite analysis of the 29 sire-lines showed high genetic diversity, expressed as the mean allele number (7.7), allele richness (4.0), and expected heterozygosity (0.740). There was no evidence of high inbreeding or a genetic bottleneck. The genetic and phenotypic data indicate that the CPH is an important and diverse reservoir of genetic diversity and can be conserved because of its special characteristics (adaptability). View Full-Text
Keywords: Croatian Posavina horse; pedigree; phenotype; genetic diversity; conservation Croatian Posavina horse; pedigree; phenotype; genetic diversity; conservation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ivanković, A.; Bittante, G.; Konjačić, M.; Kelava Ugarković, N.; Pećina, M.; Ramljak, J. Evaluation of the Conservation Status of the Croatian Posavina Horse Breed Based on Pedigree and Microsatellite Data. Animals 2021, 11, 2130. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072130

AMA Style

Ivanković A, Bittante G, Konjačić M, Kelava Ugarković N, Pećina M, Ramljak J. Evaluation of the Conservation Status of the Croatian Posavina Horse Breed Based on Pedigree and Microsatellite Data. Animals. 2021; 11(7):2130. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072130

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ivanković, Ante, Giovanni Bittante, Miljenko Konjačić, Nikolina Kelava Ugarković, Mateja Pećina, and Jelena Ramljak. 2021. "Evaluation of the Conservation Status of the Croatian Posavina Horse Breed Based on Pedigree and Microsatellite Data" Animals 11, no. 7: 2130. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072130

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