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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Genetics

Relationships among and variation within rare breeds of swine1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 93 No. 8, p. 3810-3813
    Received: Feb 10, 2015
    Accepted: June 17, 2015
    Published: July 24, 2015

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. K. S. Roberts22 and
  2. W. R. Lamberson 3
  1. Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211


Extinction of rare breeds of livestock threatens to reduce the total genetic variation available for selection in the face of the changing environment and new diseases. Swine breeds facing extinction typically share characteristics such as small size, slow growth rate, and high fat percentage, which limit them from contributing to commercial production. Compounding the risk of loss of variation is the lack of pedigree information for many rare breeds due to inadequate herd books, which increases the chance that producers are breeding closely related individuals. By making genetic data available, producers can make more educated breeding decisions to preserve genetic diversity in future generations, and conservation organizations can prioritize investments in breed preservation. The objective of this study was to characterize genetic variation within and among breeds of swine and prioritize heritage breeds for preservation. Genotypes from the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip (GeneSeek, Lincoln, NE) were obtained for Guinea, Ossabaw Island, Red Wattle, American Saddleback, Mulefoot, British Saddleback, Duroc, Landrace, Large White, Pietrain, and Tamworth pigs. A whole-genome analysis toolset was used to construct a genomic relationship matrix and to calculate inbreeding coefficients for the animals within each breed. Relatedness and average inbreeding coefficient differed among breeds, and pigs from rare breeds were generally more closely related and more inbred (P < 0.05). A multidimensional scaling diagram was constructed based on the SNP genotypes. Animals within breeds clustered tightly together except for 2 Guinea pigs. Tamworth, Duroc, and Mulefoot tended to not cluster with the other 7 breeds.

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