The Maremmano is an autochthonous Italian horse breed, which probably descended from the native horses of the Etruscans (VI century B.C.); the Studbook was acknowledged in 1980, and it includes 12 368 horses born from that year up to 2015. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the selection program on the genetic variability of the Maremmano population; the analysis was performed using both the ‘Endog v 4.8’ program available at http://webs.ucm.es/info/prodanim/html/JP_Web.htm and in-house software on official pedigree data. Four Reference Populations were considered, and the most important one was the population of the 12 368 Maremmano horses officially registered in the National Studbook. The pedigree completeness of this population was very good because it was more than 90% at the third parental generation and more than 70% at the fifth generation; the pedigree traced back to a maximum of 10.50 generations with an average of 3.30 complete generations and 5.70 equivalent complete generations. The average generation interval was 10.65 ± 4.72 years, with stallions used for longer periods than mares. The intervals ranged from 10.15 ± 4.45 (mother–daughter) to 10.99 ± 4.93 (father–daughter). The effective number of founders ( fe) was 74 and the effective number of ancestors (fa) was 30 so that the ratio fe/fa was 2.47. The founder genome equivalents ( fg) was 13.72 with a ratio fg / fe equal to 0.18. The mean of the genetic conservation index was 5.55 ± 3.37, and it ranged from 0.81 to 21.32. The average inbreeding coefficient was 2.94%, with an increase of 0.1%/year, and the average relatedness coefficient was 5.52%. The effective population size ( Ne) computed by an individual increase in inbreeding was 68.1 ± 13.00; the Ne on equivalent generations was 42.00, and this value slightly increased to 42.20 when computed by Log regression on equivalent generations. The analysis confirmed the presence of seven traditional male lines. The percentage of Thoroughbred blood in the foals born in 2015 was 20.30% and has increased 0.21%/year since 1980; in particular, it increased more than twice (0.51%/year) until 1993 and afterwards slightly fluctuated. The pedigree analysis confirmed the completeness of genealogical information and the traditional importance that breeders gave to the male lines; although the genetic diversity of Maremmano seemed to be not endangered by the selection program, some effects on the population structure were found and a more scientific approach to genetic conservation should be incorporated in the selection plans.

Analysis of founders and performance test effects on an autochthonous horse population through pedigree analysis: structure, genetic variability and inbreeding

Andrea Giontella
;
Camillo Pieramati;Maurizio Silvestrelli;Francesca Maria Sarti
2019

Abstract

The Maremmano is an autochthonous Italian horse breed, which probably descended from the native horses of the Etruscans (VI century B.C.); the Studbook was acknowledged in 1980, and it includes 12 368 horses born from that year up to 2015. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the selection program on the genetic variability of the Maremmano population; the analysis was performed using both the ‘Endog v 4.8’ program available at http://webs.ucm.es/info/prodanim/html/JP_Web.htm and in-house software on official pedigree data. Four Reference Populations were considered, and the most important one was the population of the 12 368 Maremmano horses officially registered in the National Studbook. The pedigree completeness of this population was very good because it was more than 90% at the third parental generation and more than 70% at the fifth generation; the pedigree traced back to a maximum of 10.50 generations with an average of 3.30 complete generations and 5.70 equivalent complete generations. The average generation interval was 10.65 ± 4.72 years, with stallions used for longer periods than mares. The intervals ranged from 10.15 ± 4.45 (mother–daughter) to 10.99 ± 4.93 (father–daughter). The effective number of founders ( fe) was 74 and the effective number of ancestors (fa) was 30 so that the ratio fe/fa was 2.47. The founder genome equivalents ( fg) was 13.72 with a ratio fg / fe equal to 0.18. The mean of the genetic conservation index was 5.55 ± 3.37, and it ranged from 0.81 to 21.32. The average inbreeding coefficient was 2.94%, with an increase of 0.1%/year, and the average relatedness coefficient was 5.52%. The effective population size ( Ne) computed by an individual increase in inbreeding was 68.1 ± 13.00; the Ne on equivalent generations was 42.00, and this value slightly increased to 42.20 when computed by Log regression on equivalent generations. The analysis confirmed the presence of seven traditional male lines. The percentage of Thoroughbred blood in the foals born in 2015 was 20.30% and has increased 0.21%/year since 1980; in particular, it increased more than twice (0.51%/year) until 1993 and afterwards slightly fluctuated. The pedigree analysis confirmed the completeness of genealogical information and the traditional importance that breeders gave to the male lines; although the genetic diversity of Maremmano seemed to be not endangered by the selection program, some effects on the population structure were found and a more scientific approach to genetic conservation should be incorporated in the selection plans.
2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1431914
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