Special Issue "Morpho-Functional and Genetic Characterization of Local Breeds"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Juan Vicente Delgado Bermejo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad de Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain
Interests: Conservation and characterization of zoogenetic resources; Exemplary genetic evaluation; Real genetic evaluation; Preparation of breeding catalogs and reports. Control of yields in the field - Meat, milk, fiber, behavior, sports and eggs. Information, storage and data preparation; Artificial Insemination; Seminal collection and freezing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hunting and harvesting humans became farmers during the Neolithic period, when they started growing plants and tending animals. New Neolithic societies flourished and succeeded, starting the colonization of the world accompanied by their genetic resources. These genetic resources became adapted to a wide scope of environments, by means of genetic processes such as genetic drift, mutation, migration, and natural or induced selection. This diversification produced thousands of locally adapted breeds in several species, becoming the protagonist for food production until the arrival of the industrial revolution, when extensive farming was progressively substituted by intensive systems. At this point, hundreds of local breeds became endangered, and many of them disappeared. The second half of the 20th century was characterized by a general growing concern for the survival of these populations, especially in occidental countries, and many conservation programs were implemented. However, currently, many breeds are close to extinction, even if some of them are still to be discovered. The first step toward conservation is the definition and characterization of the breeds, and in the present issue, we offer a platform for the dissemination of the important findings obtained in the world through high-level research regarding the morphological (multivariate analysis involving quantitative and qualitative traits), productive (milk, meat, wool and fibers, eggs, sport and work, behavior, etc.), and genetic characterization (DNA markers, demography) of domestic species’ local breeds. International studies involving several local breeds in the aforementioned areas will be welcomed.

Dr. Juan Vicente Delgado Bermejo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • conservation
  • zoometry
  • multivariate analysis
  • milk
  • meat
  • wool and fiber
  • eggs
  • sport and work
  • microsatellites
  • SNPs
  • pedigree
  • demography

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of Traditional and Geometric Morphometric Techniques for the Study of Basicranial Morphology in Horses: A Case Study of the Araucanian Horse from Colombia
Animals 2020, 10(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010118 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
Skull size and shape have been widely used to study domestic animal populations and breeds. Although several techniques have been proposed to quantify cranial form, few attempts have been made to compare the results obtained by different techniques. While linear morphometrics has traditionally [...] Read more.
Skull size and shape have been widely used to study domestic animal populations and breeds. Although several techniques have been proposed to quantify cranial form, few attempts have been made to compare the results obtained by different techniques. While linear morphometrics has traditionally been used in breed characterization, recent advances in geometric morphometrics have created new techniques for specifically quantifying shape and size. The objective of this study was to compare two morphometric methods for their ability to describe external morphology. For this purpose, 20 skull specimens of adult male Araucanian horses were examined. Two age categories were established (the “mature group”, M3 not fully erupted to moderately worn, n = 7; and the “senile group”, M3 totally erupted and highly worn, n = 13). Both methods showed that there were statistical differences between generations, but discrimination rates were different between methods with the geometric morphometric analysis obtaining a rate of 97.5%. Although linear morphometrics was found to be compatible with geometric morphometrics, the latter was better able to discriminate the two groups and it also provides more information on shape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morpho-Functional and Genetic Characterization of Local Breeds)
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Open AccessArticle
Sexual Dimorphism and Breed Characterization of Creole Hens through Biometric Canonical Discriminant Analysis across Ecuadorian Agroecological Areas
Animals 2020, 10(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010032 - 22 Dec 2019
Abstract
Despite Ecuador having a wide biodiversity of zootechnical species, characterization studies of these genetic resources are scarce. The objective of this research was to perform the biometric characterization of the Creole hen population through 14 quantitative zoometric measures. We evaluated 207 hens and [...] Read more.
Despite Ecuador having a wide biodiversity of zootechnical species, characterization studies of these genetic resources are scarce. The objective of this research was to perform the biometric characterization of the Creole hen population through 14 quantitative zoometric measures. We evaluated 207 hens and 37 roosters from Ecuador’s three agro-ecological regions: the Sierra (highlands) region (Bolivar, Chimborazo, Tungurahua and Cotopaxi provinces); the Costa (coastal) region (Guayas); and the Oriente Amazonian region (Morona Santiago). Sexual dimorphism was assessed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Body dimensions were generally significantly higher for males (p < 0.05), especially for length of head, beak, neck, dorsum, tarsus, thigh, leg, and middle finger. Then, individuals were biometrically clustered into populations after a stepwise canonical discriminant analysis (CDA) computing interpopulation Mahalanobis distances. Agroecologically-based structured populations were identified when zoometrical criteria were used to classify the animals. Cotopaxi and Tungurahua provinces were reported to be the most distant from the rest, with a slight differentiation of the Morona Santiago province population from those in Guayas, Chimborazo and Bolívar. Conclusively, Ecuadorian Creole hens were higher than longer contrasting light hen breeds, which favors their dual-purpose aptitude. Hence, the development of selection programs aimed at Ecuadorian differentiated entity of production of eggs and meat across agro-ecological areas is feasible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morpho-Functional and Genetic Characterization of Local Breeds)
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Open AccessArticle
GBS Data Identify Pigmentation-Specific Genes of Potential Role in Skin-Photosensitization in Two Tunisian Sheep Breeds
Animals 2020, 10(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010005 - 18 Dec 2019
Abstract
The Tunisian Noire de Thibar sheep breed is a composite breed, recently selected to create animals that are uniformly black in order to avoid skin photosensitization after the ingestion of toxic “hypericum perforatum” weeds, which causes a major economic loss to [...] Read more.
The Tunisian Noire de Thibar sheep breed is a composite breed, recently selected to create animals that are uniformly black in order to avoid skin photosensitization after the ingestion of toxic “hypericum perforatum” weeds, which causes a major economic loss to sheep farmers. We assessed genetic differentiation and estimated marker FST using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) data in black (Noire de Thibar) and related white-coated (Queue fine de l’ouest) sheep breeds to identify signals of artificial selection. The results revealed the selection signatures within candidate genes related to coat color, which are assumed to be indirectly involved in the mechanism of photosensitization in sheep. The identified genes could provide important information for molecular breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morpho-Functional and Genetic Characterization of Local Breeds)
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Open AccessArticle
Sexual Dimorphism for Coping Styles Complements Traditional Methods for Sex Determination in a Multivariety Endangered Hen Breed
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121165 - 17 Dec 2019
Abstract
Sex determination is key to designing endangered poultry population conservation and breeding programs when sex distribution departs from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. A total of 112 Utrerana chickens (28 per variety, partridge, black, white, and franciscan) were selected for hatching day sexing. Sex assignation was [...] Read more.
Sex determination is key to designing endangered poultry population conservation and breeding programs when sex distribution departs from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. A total of 112 Utrerana chickens (28 per variety, partridge, black, white, and franciscan) were selected for hatching day sexing. Sex assignation was performed through 10 methods. Three sex assignment criteria comprised criteria found in literature, opposite criteria to that in the literature, and composite criteria combining methods reporting the highest predictive success from the previous ones. This study aims to determine which method combinations may more successfully determine sex across the four varieties of Utrerana endangered hen breed to tailor noninvasive early specific models to determine sex in local chicken populations. Although the explanatory power of the three assignation criteria is equal (75%), assignation criteria 2 resulted to be the most efficient as it correctly assigns males more frequently. Only methods 3 (English method), 5 (general down feathers coloration), 7 (wing fan), and 10 (behavior/coping styles) reported significant differences regardless of the variety, hence, are appropriate for early sexing. Sex confirmation was performed at 1.5 months old. Identifying sex proportions enhances genetic management tasks in endangered populations, complementing more standardized techniques, which may result inefficient given the implicit diversity found in local populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morpho-Functional and Genetic Characterization of Local Breeds)
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