University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza

Castelfranco Emilia, Italy

University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza

Castelfranco Emilia, Italy
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Boettcher P.J.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | Tixier-Boichard M.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Simianer H.,University of Gottingen | Eding H.,Animal Evaluations Unit | And 5 more authors.
Animal Genetics | Year: 2010

The genetic diversity of the world's livestock populations is decreasing, both within and across breeds. A wide variety of factors has contributed to the loss, replacement or genetic dilution of many local breeds. Genetic variability within the more common commercial breeds has been greatly decreased by selectively intense breeding programmes. Conservation of livestock genetic variability is thus important, especially when considering possible future changes in production environments. The world has more than 7500 livestock breeds and conservation of all of them is not feasible. Therefore, prioritization is needed. The objective of this article is to review the state of the art in approaches for prioritization of breeds for conservation, particularly those approaches that consider molecular genetic information, and to identify any shortcomings that may restrict their application. The Weitzman method was among the first and most well-known approaches for utilization of molecular genetic information in conservation prioritization. This approach balances diversity and extinction probability to yield an objective measure of conservation potential. However, this approach was designed for decision making across species and measures diversity as distinctiveness. For livestock, prioritization will most commonly be performed among breeds within species, so alternatives that measure diversity as co-ancestry (i.e. also within-breed variability) have been proposed. Although these methods are technically sound, their application has generally been limited to research studies; most existing conservation programmes have effectively primarily based decisions on extinction risk. The development of user-friendly software incorporating these approaches may increase their rate of utilization. © 2010 International Society for Animal Genetics.


Joost S.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Colli L.,University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza | Baret P.V.,Catholic University of Leuven | Garcia J.F.,São Paulo State University | And 3 more authors.
Animal Genetics | Year: 2010

In livestock genetic resource conservation, decision making about conservation priorities is based on the simultaneous analysis of several different criteria that may contribute to long-term sustainable breeding conditions, such as genetic and demographic characteristics, environmental conditions, and role of the breed in the local or regional economy. Here we address methods to integrate different data sets and highlight problems related to interdisciplinary comparisons. Data integration is based on the use of geographic coordinates and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In addition to technical problems related to projection systems, GIS have to face the challenging issue of the non homogeneous scale of their data sets. We give examples of the successful use of GIS for data integration and examine the risk of obtaining biased results when integrating datasets that have been captured at different scales. © 2010 International Society for Animal Genetics.


Colli L.,University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza | Perrotta G.,L.E.S.S. | Negrini R.,University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza | Bomba L.,University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza | And 5 more authors.
Animal Genetics | Year: 2013

Since its domestication, about 5000 years ago, the donkey (Equus asinus) has been extensively used as a work or draft animal in agricultural activities and for the transportation of people and goods. In the last century, technology improvement and growing mechanization strongly affected agriculture and the management and use of this livestock species in the industrialized countries. Nowadays, the use of donkeys for work or transport has almost disappeared, together with the need for mules or hinny breeding. During the last five decades, Italian autochthonous donkey populations suffered from a severe reduction in population size, which led to the extinction of several breeds. At present, eight breeds remain, all classified by FAO as critically endangered or endangered: Asinara, Pantesco, Grigio Siciliano, Romagnolo, Amiatino, Sardo Grigio, Martina Franca, and Ragusano. To evaluate the extant genetic variability of Italian donkeys, we typed 16 microsatellite loci in 258 individuals from these breeds. The results highlighted moderate levels of inbreeding (F IS = 0.127) and a significant partition of genetic variation into breeds, as suggested by fixation index (FST = 0.109) and analysis of molecular variance (10.86% of total variation assigned to the between-breeds level) analyses. This was confirmed by a Bayesian clustering procedure that also highlighted a further partitioning at lower hierarchical levels corresponding to the farms of origin. This evidence suggests that an effective management strategy for Italian donkey populations should focus on breeds as conservation units. However, this requires a synergic management strategy at the farm level to maintain diversity and avoid inbreeding. © 2011 The Authors, Animal Genetics © 2011 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.


McClure M.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Kim E.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Bickhart D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Null D.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Bovine Progressive Degenerative Myeloencephalopathy (Weaver Syndrome) is a recessive neurological disease that has been observed in the Brown Swiss cattle breed since the 1970's in North America and Europe. Bilateral hind leg weakness and ataxia appear in afflicted animals at 6 to 18 months of age, and slowly progresses to total loss of hind limb control by 3 to 4 years of age. While Weaver has previously been mapped to Bos taurus autosome (BTA) 4:46-56 Mb and a diagnostic test based on the 6 microsatellite (MS) markers is commercially available, neither the causative gene nor mutation has been identified; therefore misdiagnosis can occur due to recombination between the diagnostic MS markers and the causative mutation. Analysis of 34,980 BTA 4 SNPs genotypes derived from the Illumina BovineHD assay for 20 Brown Swiss Weaver carriers and 49 homozygous normal bulls refined the Weaver locus to 48-53 Mb. Genotyping of 153 SNPs, identified from whole genome sequencing of 10 normal and 10 carrier animals, across a validation set of 841 animals resulted in the identification of 41 diagnostic SNPs that were concordant with the disease. Except for one intergenic SNP all are associated with genes expressed in nervous tissues: 37 distal to NRCAM, one non-synonymous (serine to asparagine) in PNPLA8, one synonymous and one non-synonymous (lysine to glutamic acid) in CTTNBP2. Haplotype and imputation analyses of 7,458 Brown Swiss animals with Illumina BovineSNP50 data and the 41 diagnostic SNPs resulted in the identification of only one haplotype concordant with the Weaver phenotype. Use of this haplotype and the diagnostic SNPs more accurately identifies Weaver carriers in both Brown Swiss purebred and influenced herds.


Colli L.,University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza | Colli L.,University of Parma | Cannas R.,University of Cagliari | Deiana A.M.,University of Cagliari | Tagliavini J.,University of Parma
Zoological Science | Year: 2011

The pine marten, Martes martes, is a medium-sized terrestrial carnivore associated with woodland habitats of the western Palearctic region. The present distribution area of the species also includes six islands of the western Mediterranean basin. The origin of these insular populations and their taxonomic status are still debated; their molecular characterization appears relevant for conservation purposes. To describe the genetic variability of the pine martens from Sardinia we characterized 40 insular and 14 Italian individuals at seven nuclear microsatellite loci. The identification of private alleles and the calculated FST value of 0.074 revealed some genetic differentiation between the two populations, which accounts for the high percentages of correct allocation (96.3998.80%) scored by the genotype assignment test. The presence of two distinct clusters corresponding to Sardinia and mainland Italy was further confirmed by the multivariate Factorial Correspondence Analysis of individual genotypes. Moreover, the genome of the Sardinian individuals bore signs of past demographic fluctuations, i.e. the presence of the monomorphic locus Ma-4, a lower allelic richness and a lower number of private alleles, which may derive from the combination of drift, founder effects, and human overexploitation. Anyway, if such events ever affected the Sardinian population, this is likely to have happened in the past since, according to our microsatellite data, the present-day population does not show evidence of recent bottlenecks or inbreeding, the Wilcoxon sign-rank test and the FIS index being not statistically significant (both P > 0.05). Based on this genetic evidence, we advance hypotheses about the distinctiveness of the Sardinian population and its significance for taxonomy and conservation. © 2011 Zoological Society of Japan.


Battilani P.,University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza | Toscano P.,CNR Institute for Biometeorology | Van Der Fels-Klerx H.J.,RIKILT Wageningen UR | Moretti A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 5 more authors.
Scientific Reports | Year: 2016

Climate change has been reported as a driver for emerging food and feed safety issues worldwide and its expected impact on the presence of mycotoxins in food and feed is of great concern. Aflatoxins have the highest acute and chronic toxicity of all mycotoxins; hence, the maximal concentration in agricultural food and feed products and their commodities is regulated worldwide. The possible change in patterns of aflatoxin occurrence in crops due to climate change is a matter of concern that may require anticipatory actions. The aim of this study was to predict aflatoxin contamination in maize and wheat crops, within the next 100 years, under a +2 °C and +5 °C climate change scenario, applying a modelling approach. Europe was virtually covered by a net, 50 × 50 km grids, identifying 2254 meshes with a central point each. Climate data were generated for each point, linked to predictive models and predictions were run consequently. Aflatoxin B 1 is predicted to become a food safety issue in maize in Europe, especially in the +2 °C scenario, the most probable scenario of climate change expected for the next years. These results represent a supporting tool to reinforce aflatoxin management and to prevent human and animal exposure.


PubMed | University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zoological science | Year: 2011

The pine marten, Martes martes, is a medium-sized terrestrial carnivore associated with woodland habitats of the western Palearctic region. The present distribution area of the species also includes six islands of the western Mediterranean basin. The origin of these insular populations and their taxonomic status are still debated; their molecular characterization appears relevant for conservation purposes. To describe the genetic variability of the pine martens from Sardinia we characterized 40 insular and 14 Italian individuals at seven nuclear microsatellite loci. The identification of private alleles and the calculated F(ST) value of 0.074 revealed some genetic differentiation between the two populations, which accounts for the high percentages of correct allocation (96.39-98.80%) scored by the genotype assignment test. The presence of two distinct clusters corresponding to Sardinia and mainland Italy was further confirmed by the multivariate Factorial Correspondence Analysis of individual genotypes. Moreover, the genome of the Sardinian individuals bore signs of past demographic fluctuations, i.e. the presence of the monomorphic locus Ma-4, a lower allelic richness and a lower number of private alleles, which may derive from the combination of drift, founder effects, and human overexploitation. Anyway, if such events ever affected the Sardinian population, this is likely to have happened in the past since, according to our microsatellite data, the present-day population does not show evidence of recent bottlenecks or inbreeding, the Wilcoxon sign-rank test and the F(IS) index being not statistically significant (both P > 0.05). Based on this genetic evidence, we advance hypotheses about the distinctiveness of the Sardinian population and its significance for taxonomy and conservation.


PubMed | University Cattolica Del ore Of Piacenza
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Animal genetics | Year: 2013

Since its domestication, about 5000 years ago, the donkey (Equus asinus) has been extensively used as a work or draft animal in agricultural activities and for the transportation of people and goods. In the last century, technology improvement and growing mechanization strongly affected agriculture and the management and use of this livestock species in the industrialized countries. Nowadays, the use of donkeys for work or transport has almost disappeared, together with the need for mules or hinny breeding. During the last five decades, Italian autochthonous donkey populations suffered from a severe reduction in population size, which led to the extinction of several breeds. At present, eight breeds remain, all classified by FAO as critically endangered or endangered: Asinara, Pantesco, Grigio Siciliano, Romagnolo, Amiatino, Sardo Grigio, Martina Franca, and Ragusano. To evaluate the extant genetic variability of Italian donkeys, we typed 16 microsatellite loci in 258 individuals from these breeds. The results highlighted moderate levels of inbreeding ( F (IS) = 0.127) and a significant partition of genetic variation into breeds, as suggested by fixation index ( F (ST) = 0.109) and analysis of molecular variance (10.86% of total variation assigned to the between-breeds level) analyses. This was confirmed by a Bayesian clustering procedure that also highlighted a further partitioning at lower hierarchical levels corresponding to the farms of origin. This evidence suggests that an effective management strategy for Italian donkey populations should focus on breeds as conservation units. However, this requires a synergic management strategy at the farm level to maintain diversity and avoid inbreeding.

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