Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022
Inbreeding and pedigree analysis of the European red dairy cattleNyman, Sofia; Johansson, Anna M.; Palucci, Valentina; Schonherz, Anna A.; Guldbrandtsen, Bernt; Hinrichs, Dirk; de Koning, Dirk-Jan
AbstractBackground Red dairy cattle breeds have an important role in the European dairy sector because of their functional characteristics and good health. Extensive pedigree information is available for these breeds and provides a unique opportunity to examine their population structure, such as effective population size, depth of the pedigree, and effective number of founders and ancestors, and inbreeding levels. Animals with the highest genetic contributions were identified. Pedigree data included 9,073,403 animals that were born between 1900 and 2019 from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Sweden, and covered 32 breeds. The numerically largest breeds were Red Dairy Cattle and Meuse-Rhine-Yssel. Results The deepest average complete generation equivalent (9.39) was found for Red Dairy Cattle in 2017. Mean pedigree completeness ranged from 0.6 for Finncattle to 7.51 for Red Dairy Cattle. An effective population size of 166 animals was estimated for the total pedigree and ranged from 35 (Rotes Hohenvieh) to 226 (Red Dairy Cattle). Average generation intervals were between 5 and 7 years. The mean inbreeding coefficient for animals born between 1960 and 2018 was 1.5%, with the highest inbreeding coefficients observed for Traditional Angler (4.2%) and Rotes Hohenvieh (4.1%). The most influential animal was a Dutch Meuse-Rhine-Yssel bull born in 1960. The mean inbreeding level for animals born between 2016 and 2018 was 2% and highest for the Meuse-Rhine-Yssel (4.64%) and Rotes Hohenvieh breeds (3.80%). Conclusions We provide the first detailed analysis of the genetic diversity and inbreeding levels of the European red dairy cattle breeds. Rotes Hohenvieh and Traditional Angler have high inbreeding levels and are either close to or below the minimal recommended effective population size, thus it is necessary to implement tools to monitor the selection process in order to control inbreeding in these breeds. Red Dairy Cattle, Vorderwalder, Swedish Polled and Hinterwalder hold more genetic diversity. Regarding the Meuse-Rhine-Yssel breed, given its decreased population size, increased inbreeding and low effective population size, we recommend implementation of a breeding program to prevent further loss in its genetic diversity.
Published inGenetics Selection Evolution
2022, volume: 54, number: 1, article number: 70
Schonherz, Anna A.
University of Copenhagen
UKÄ Subject classification
Animal and Dairy Science
URI (permanent link to this page)