Forst- und Lebensmittelwissenschaften HAFL, 3052 Zollikofen

Extent of genomic inbreeding in Swiss sheep and goat breeds

The development of modern technologies now allows thousands of genetic markers in an animal’s genome to be revealed by means of DNA genotyping. This information can be used to deduce genomic inbreeding. This is valuable for populations that have no, or only incomplete, pedigree information. Furthermore, differences in the inbreeding of full siblings can be demonstrated and it is possible to identify where in the genome the inbreeding has had an effect. In this way it provides clues to genetic diversity within a breed. In this study, genomic inbreeding was investigated for 1,120 sheep from eleven breeds and for 332 goats from ten breeds. An average genomic inbreeding > 6.25 % between individual animals was observed in the goat breeds Saanen (SA), Toggenburg (TO), Grisons Striped (BS), Valais goat (WZ), Appenzell (AP) and Stiefelgeiss (ST), as well as for the sheep breeds Valais Blacknose (SN), Spiegel (SPS), Roux du Valais (WLS) and Ouessant (OUE). In general, the consideration of genomic data allows a better understanding of kinship and inbreeding conditions in Swiss breeds and therefore enables better decision-making in relation to breeding and possible conservation activities.

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