AS  Vol.8 No.9 , September 2017
Genetic Diversity and Ancestral History of the German Angler and the Red-and-White Dual-Purpose Cattle Breeds Assessed through Pedigree Analysis
Abstract: Local cattle breeds continue to decline in numbers partly due to the use of high performing breeds in advanced production systems where genetic material of elite animals is widely spread. The objective of this study was to assess the within and across breed genetic diversity of the Angler and Red-and-White dual-purpose (DP) cattle breeds applying different inbreeding concepts. Classical and ancestral inbreeding coefficients were computed from pedigree data using the gene dropping method. Effective population size was calculated based on the increase of classical inbreeding, and based on ancestral inbreeding to obtain what was termed as ancestral effective population size. Furthermore, the effective number of founders and ancestors were computed to assess the disequilibrium of founder contribution in the reference populations. The analyses were performed separately for each breed and for a combined dataset. The Angler pedigree was more complete (88%) in the first parental generation but completeness declined with increasing pedigree depth. Average classical inbreeding coefficients of inbred individuals were 2.19%, 1.94% and 2.07%, while average Ballou’s ancestral inbreeding coefficients were 3.69%, 1.39% and 2.21% for the Angler, Red-and-White DP and the combined breed pedigree analyses, respectively. Ancestral history coefficient is a novel coefficient and its estimates were similar and strongly correlated to Ballou’s coefficients (r = 0.99, p < 0.001). The effective population size estimates ranged from 156 to 170 for the classical inbreeding based method, and as low as from 50 to 54 for the ancestral history coefficient based method. The effective number of founders and ancestors ranged from 310 to 532, and 90 to 189, respectively. Our results show that the Red Holstein breed is a key progenitor of the breed populations under study. This highlights cross breeding schemes introduced to improve the milk trait performance of the Angler and Red-and-White DP breeds some decades ago.
Cite this paper: Addo, S. , Schäler, J. , Hinrichs, D. and Thaller, G. (2017) Genetic Diversity and Ancestral History of the German Angler and the Red-and-White Dual-Purpose Cattle Breeds Assessed through Pedigree Analysis. Agricultural Sciences, 8, 1033-1047. doi: 10.4236/as.2017.89075.

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