Monitoring rate of inbreeding and loss of genetic variation in traditional Swedish dog breeds of conservation concern using pedigree data
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Increasing conservation genetic focus is directed towards domestic animal populations because: 1) domestic animals are of direct socio-economic importance to humans, and 2) strong selective breeding for a single or a few traits are considered to rapidly deplete the genetic variability of many domestic animal populations. International policy work within the Convention on Biological Diversity identifies strategies for minimizing genetic erosion of domesticated animals as one of the key biodiversity targets for 2010-2020. We investigated recent rate of inbreeding and loss of genetic variation in 12 traditional Swedish dog breeds, 10 of which have been identified as of conservation concern by the Swedish Board of Agriculture. We used studbook data provided by the Swedish Kennel Club with pedigrees dating back to the mid 20th century and comprising 5-10 generations with 350-60,000 individuals per pedigree. We assessed levels of inbreeding and loss of genetic variation measured in relation to the number of founding animals (founder alleles) among live animals at five points in time (1980, 1990, 2000, 2006, and 2012). We found average inbreeding coefficients among breeds to double over our period of monitoring, from an average of 0.03 over breeds in 1980 to 0.07 in 2012. This is in spite of the majority of breeds being large with pedigrees comprising thousands of individuals. The loss of genetic variation is extensive with an average of 70 percent loss of founder alleles over the study period, and the proportion of founder genome equivalents in relation to the number of founders is on average only 0.09. This is comparable to previously published rates of genetic variability loss in dog breeds, indicating that the explicit conservation goals for these traditional Swedish breeds is not yet reflected in conservation genetic status. One of the breeds is particularly threatened - the Gotland hound with less than 150 living individuals, but this breed also shows comparably larger retention of genetic variation.
animal genetic resources; conservation genetics; pedigree analysis; domestic dog, Canis familiaris, Convention on Biological Diversity, Aichi Target 13, genetic biodiversity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100601OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-100601DiVA: diva2:694833