Piccoli M.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul |
Braccini Neto J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul |
Brito F.V.,GenSys Consultores Associados SS |
Campos L.T.,Associacao Nacional de Criadores Herd Book Collares |
And 6 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2014
Pedigree information available for Angus (ANG), Devon (DEV), Hereford (HER), and Shorthorn (SHO) cattle in Brazil was analyzed to appraise the genetic diversity and population structure of these breeds. Pedigree records collected from the beginning of the 20th century until 2010 were used in the analyses. Over time, the number of herdbook registrations declined in HER after a peak in the 1970s, remained low in DEV and SHO, and increased steadily in ANG since the 1990s, such that it the latter is now the leading British cattle breed in Brazil. The average number of offspring registered per sire ranged from about 12 (SHO) to 20 (DEV) and the mean generation interval ranged from about 6.0 (HER and SHO) to 6.4 (ANG) years. In the reference population (calves born in 2009 and 2010, plus those born in 2008 for SHO) the mean equivalent number of generations known ranged from about 7 (SHO) to 9 (HER). In the 4 breeds studied, nearly all animals born over the last few years are inbred, even though the mean level of inbreeding in the reference population is below 4% in all breeds. The rate of inbreeding per generation, computed from the individual increase in inbreeding, ranged from about 0.2 (ANG) to 0.5% (DEV), with a corresponding effective population size of 245 and 92, respectively, which is above the recommended minimum critical threshold. The number of founders/ancestors contributing with 50% of the reference population gene pool was 211/26 for ANG, 41/14 for DEV, 164/25 for HER, and 79/10 for SHO, with effective number of founders/ancestors/ founder genomes of 470/68/36, 89/33/16, 289/59/30, and 200/28/18 for ANG, DEV, HER, and SHO, respectively. The genetic contribution of different countries to the gene pool of each breed indicated that, throughout the period studied, DEV genes originated predominantly from the United Kingdom, while for the other breeds there was a changing pattern over time. Until the 1970s Argentina was the major supplier of ANG, while HER and SHO genes were mostly from Uruguay, but since then the United States took the leading role as supplier of ANG, HER, and SHO genes to Brazil. Our results reveal a mild increase in inbreeding in all breeds studied, with effective population size estimates indicating that reasonable levels of genetic diversity have been maintained in all 4 breeds. Continuous monitoring of inbreeding trends and of parameters derived from probability of gene origin should be ensured to warrant the long-term maintenance of genetic diversity. © 2014 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.