[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is an important agricultural species that is largely used as a meat-type bird. Characterizing genetic variation in populations of domesticated species and associating these variation patterns with the evolution, domestication, and selective breeding is critical for understanding the dynamics of genomic change in these species. Intense selective breeding and population bottlenecks are expected to leave signatures in the genome of domesticated species, such as unusually low nucleotide diversity or the presence of exceptionally extended haplotype homozygosity. These patterns of variation in selected populations are highly useful to not only understand the consequences of selective breeding and population dynamics, but also to provide insights into biological mechanisms that may affect physiological processes important to bring changes in phenotype of interest.ResultsWe observed 54 genomic regions in heritage and commercial turkey populations on 14 different chromosomes that showed statistically significant (P¿<¿0.05) reduction in genomic variation indicating candidate selective sweeps. Areas with evidence of selective sweeps varied from 1.5 Mb to 13.8 Mb in length. Out of these 54 sweeps, 23 overlapped at least partially between two or more populations. Overlapping sweeps were found on 13 different chromosomes. The remaining 31 sweeps were population-specific and were observed on 12 different chromosomes, with 26 of these regions present only in commercial populations. Genes that are known to affect growth were enriched in the sweep regions.Conclusion
The turkey genome showed large sweep regions. The relatively high number of sweep regions in commercial turkey populations compared to heritage varieties and the enrichment of genes important to growth in these regions, suggest that these sweeps are the result of intense selection in these commercial lines, moving specific haplotypes towards fixation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The merging of populations after an extended period of isolation and divergence is a common phenomenon, in natural settings as well as due to human interference. Individuals with such hybrid origins contain genomes that essentially form a mosaic of different histories and demographies. Pigs are an excellent model species to study hybridization because European and Asian wild boars diverged ~1.2 Mya and pigs were domesticated independently in Europe and Asia. During the Industrial Revolution in England, pigs were imported from China to improve the local pigs. This study utilizes the latest genomics tools to identify the origin of haplotypes in European domesticated pigs that are descendant from Asian and European populations. Our results reveal fine-scale haplotype structure representing different ancient demographic events, as well as a mosaic composition of those distinct histories due to recently introgressed haplotypes in the pig genome. As a consequence, nucleotide diversity in the genome of European domesticated pigs is higher when at least one haplotype of Asian origin is present, and haplotype length correlates negatively with recombination frequency and nucleotide diversity. Another consequence is that the inference of past effective population size is influenced by the background of the haplotypes in an individual, but we demonstrate that by careful sorting based on the origin of haplotypes both distinct demographic histories can be reconstructed. Future detailed mapping of the genomic distribution of variation will enable a targeted approach to increase genetic diversity of captive and wild populations, thus facilitating conservation efforts in the near future.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Copy number variation refers to regions along chromosomes that harbor a type of structural variation, such as duplications or deletions. Copy number variants (CNVs) play a role in many important traits as well as in genetic diversity. Previous analyses of chickens using array comparative genomic hybridizations or single-nucleotide polymorphism chip assays have been performed on various breeds and genetic lines to discover CNVs. In this study, we assessed individuals from two highly inbred (inbreeding coefficiency > 99.99%) lines, Leghorn G-B2 and Fayoumi M15.2, to discover novel CNVs in chickens. These lines have been previously studied for disease resistance, and to our knowledge, this represents the first global assessment of CNVs in the Fayoumi breed. Genomic DNA from individuals was examined using the Agilent chicken 244 K comparative genomic hybridization array and quantitative PCR. We identified a total of 273 CNVs overall, with 112 CNVs being novel and not previously reported. Quantitative PCR using the standard curve method validated a subset of our array data. Through enrichment analysis of genes within CNV regions, we observed multiple chromosomes, terms and pathways that were significantly enriched, largely dealing with the major histocompatibility complex and immune responsiveness. Using an additional round of computational and statistical analysis with a different bioinformatic pipeline, we identified 43 CNVs among these as high-confidence regions, 14 of which were found to be novel. We further compared and contrasted individuals of the two inbred lines to discover regions that have a significant difference in copy number between lines. A total of 40 regions had significant deletions or duplications between the lines. Gene Ontology analysis of genomic regions containing CNVs between lines also was performed. This between-line candidate CNV list will be useful in studies with these two unique genetic lines, which may harbor variations that underlie quantitative trait loci for disease resistance and other important traits. Through the global discovery of novel CNVs in chicken, these data also provide resources for further genetic and functional genomics studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The independent domestication of local wild boar populations in Asia and Europe about 10,000 years ago led to distinct European and Asian pig breeds, each with very different phenotypic characteristics. During the Industrial Revolution, Chinese breeds were imported to Europe to improve commercial traits in European breeds. Here we demonstrate the presence of introgressed Asian haplotypes in European domestic pigs and selection signatures on some loci in these regions, using whole genome sequence data. The introgression signatures are widespread and the Asian haplotypes are rarely fixed. The Asian introgressed haplotypes are associated with regions harbouring genes involved in meat quality, development and fertility. We identify Asian-derived non-synonymous mutations in the AHR gene that associate with increased litter size in multiple European commercial lines. These findings demonstrate that increased fertility was an important breeding goal for early nineteenth century pig farmers, and that Asian variants of genes related to this trait were preferentially selected during the development of modern European pig breeds.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cultural transmission of migratory traditions enables species to deal with their environment based on experiences from earlier generations. Also, it allows a more adequate and rapid response to rapidly changing environments. When individuals break with their migratory traditions new population structures can emerge that may affect gene flow. Recently, the migratory traditions of the Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis changed, and new populations differing in migratory distance emerged. Here, we investigate the population genetic structure of the Barnacle Goose to evaluate the consequences of altered migratory traditions. We used a set of 358 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) markers to genotype 418 individuals from breeding populations in Greenland, Spitsbergen, Russia, Sweden and the Netherlands, the latter two being newly emerged populations. We used Discriminant Analysis of Principal Components, FST , linkage disequilibrium and a comparison of gene flow models using migrate-n to show that there is significant population structure, but that relatively many pairs of SNPs are in linkage disequilibrium, suggesting recent admixture between these populations. Despite the assumed traditions of migration within populations we also show that genetic exchange occurs between all populations. The newly established non-migratory population in the Netherlands is characterized by high emigration into other populations which suggests more exploratory behaviour, possibly as a result of shortened parental care. These results suggest that migratory traditions in populations are subject to change in geese and that such changes have population genetic consequences. We argue that the emergence of non-migration likely resulted from developmental plasticity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulins play an important role in maintenance of mucosal homeostasis in the gut. The antigen binding specificity of these immunoglobulins depends for a large part on the hypervariable CDR3 region. To gain knowledge about isotype-specific development of the CDR3 repertoire we examined CDR3 spectratypes at multiple time points between 4 and 70 days post hatch. In order to identify clonal expansions deviation from the normal distribution (SS) and the average CDR3 length was calculated. IgA-CDR3 regions were studied in more detail by DNA sequence analysis at day 7 and 70 and preferential VH pseudogene usage was estimated. The SS of CDR3 repertoires of the IgM, IgG and IgA isotypes successively increased, but for each isotype this increase was transiently. The length of the CDR3 regions decreased with age for IgM becoming similar to the CDR3 length of IgA at day 70. The IgA- and IgG-CDR3 lengths did not change with age. On average, the CDR3 length of IgA was the shortest. IgA CDR3 sequences were similar between animals aged 7 and 70 days. A limited number of pseudogenes was used, and no differences in pseudogene usage were observed between animals aged 7 and 70 days. Of the identified VH pseudogenes, half of the sequences used VH15, whilst a number of the pseudogenes were not used at all. We conclude that CDR3 spectratype profiles change during aging, whilst at the CDR3-sequence level, variation in VH pseudogene usage for ileal IgA is limited suggesting conservation during ontogeny.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The process of speciation is fundamental to evolutionary biology but remains poorly understood. Confusion can arise because the conclusions of studies that rely upon a limited number of genetic loci may not reflect the true evolutionary history of the species. Whole-genome data, however, can overcome this issue by providing an unbiased window into the patterns and processes of speciation. In order to reveal the complexity of the speciation process, we sequenced and analysed the genomes of 10 wild pigs, representing five morphologically and/or geographically well-defined species of the genus Sus from insular and mainland Southeast Asia, and one African common warthog.
Our data highlight the importance of past cyclical climatic fluctuations in facilitating the dispersal and isolation of populations, thus leading to the diversification of suids in one of the most species-rich regions of the world. Moreover, admixture analyses revealed extensive, intra- and inter-specific gene flow thus reconciling previous conflicting results obtained from a limited number of loci. We show that these multiple events of reticulation involved both natural and human mediated dispersal.
Our results demonstrate the importance of past climatic fluctuations and human mediated translocations in driving and reversing the speciation process in island Southeast Asia. This case study demonstrates that genomics is a powerful tool to decipher the evolutionary history of a genus, and reveals the complexity of the process of speciation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is one of the principal natural hosts of influenza A viruses. We present the duck genome sequence and perform deep transcriptome analyses to investigate immune-related genes. Our data indicate that the duck possesses a contractive immune gene repertoire, as in chicken and zebra finch, and this repertoire has been shaped through lineage-specific duplications. We identify genes that are responsive to influenza A viruses using the lung transcriptomes of control ducks and ones that were infected with either a highly pathogenic (A/duck/Hubei/49/05) or a weakly pathogenic (A/goose/Hubei/65/05) H5N1 virus. Further, we show how the duck's defense mechanisms against influenza infection have been optimized through the diversification of its β-defensin and butyrophilin-like repertoires. These analyses, in combination with the genomic and transcriptomic data, provide a resource for characterizing the interaction between host and influenza viruses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to assess the genetic diversity of 17 populations of Vietnamese local chickens (VNN) and one Red Jungle Fowl population, together with six chicken populations of Chinese origin (CNO), and to provide priorities supporting the conservation of genetic resources using 20 microsatellites. Consequently, the VNN populations exhibited a higher diversity than did CNO populations in terms of number of alleles but showed a slightly lower observed heterozygosity. The VNN populations showed in total seven private alleles, whereas no CNO private alleles were found. The expected heterozygosity of 0.576 in the VNN populations was higher than the observed heterozygosity of 0.490, leading to heterozygote deficiency within populations. This issue could be partly explained by the Wahlund effect due to fragmentation of several populations between chicken flocks. Molecular analysis of variance showed that most of genetic variation was found within VNN populations. The Bayesian clustering analysis showed that VNN and CNO chickens were separated into two distinct groups with little evidence for gene flow between them. Among the 24 populations, 13 were successfully assigned to their own cluster, whereas the structuring was not clear for the remaining 11 chicken populations. The contributions of 24 populations to the total genetic diversity were mostly consistent across two approaches, taking into account the within- and between-populations genetic diversity and allelic richness. The black H'mong, Lien Minh, Luong Phuong and Red Jungle Fowl were ranked with the highest priorities for conservation according to Caballero and Toro's and Petit's approaches. In conclusion, a national strategy needs to be set up for Vietnamese chicken populations, with three main components: conservation of high-priority breeds, within-breed management with animal exchanges between flocks to avoid Wahlund effect and monitoring of inbreeding rate.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to identify chromosomal regions associated with genetic variation in pre-weaning growth traits in Angora goats. A genome-wide scan was performed by genotyping 1042 offspring from 12 half-sib families using 88 microsatellite caprine markers covering 1368cM. Phenotypes were recorded at birth (BW) and weaning (WW) and analysed using GridQTL software. A total of six putative QTL were detected on six different chromosomes, all at chromosome-wide significance level. Four QTL were identified for BW on CHI 4, 8, 17 and 27 and two QTL for WW on CHI 16 and 19. QTL effects ranged from −0.32 to 0.25 in units of residual standard deviation in different families. Some of these QTL correspond to chromosomes where QTL associated with growth have been identified in other species. These chromosomal segments hold potential to influence weight gain in young goats.
Small Ruminant Research 05/2013; 112(s 1–3):15–20. · 1.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following domestication, livestock breeds have experienced intense selection pressures for the development of desirable traits. This has resulted in a large diversity of breeds that display variation in many phenotypic traits, such as coat colour, muscle composition, early maturity, growth rate, body size, reproduction, and behaviour. To better understand the relationship between genomic composition and phenotypic diversity arising from breed development, the genomes of 13 traditional and commercial European pig breeds were scanned for signatures of diversifying selection using the Porcine60K SNP chip, applying a between-population (differentiation) approach. Signatures of diversifying selection between breeds were found in genomic regions associated with traits related to breed standard criteria, such as coat colour and ear morphology. Amino acid differences in the EDNRB gene appear to be associated with one of these signatures, and variation in the KITLG gene may be associated with another. Other selection signals were found in genomic regions including QTLs and genes associated with production traits such as reproduction, growth, and fat deposition. Some selection signatures were associated with regions showing evidence of introgression from Asian breeds. When the European breeds were compared with wild boar, genomic regions with high levels of differentiation harboured genes related to bone formation, growth, and fat deposition.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, parental assignment was studied in the 10th generation of a pedigreed selected Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) population (GIFT) and their offspring, by comparing two types of molecular markers, microsatellites and SNPs, using an exclusion-based (Vitassign) and a likelihood-based (Cervus) method. For the experiment, G10 parents were divided in 4 groups (cohorts) and allowed to produce offspring by natural group mating. In total 173 offspring were tested against 238 parents, using either 12 microsatellites (PIC = 0.639; exclusion power 68.0%) or 122 SNPs (PIC = 0.341; exclusion power 99.9%). In this study, more than half of the candidate parents were either full- or half-sibs with other parents. Furthermore, 13.8% of the parents died before being sampled for DNA.When offspring were assigned to parents in the same cohort, using Vitassign, for microsatellites, allowing up to 2 mismatches, 37.6% offspring got unique assignments, 45.1% got multiple assignments, and 17.3% were not assigned; for SNPs with up to 15 mismatches allowed, 83.8% offspring got unique assignments while 13.9% got multiple assignments. Only 2.3% were not assigned. Using Cervus, for microsatellites, the mean ‘strict’ (> 95% CF) assignment rate across the 4 cohorts was 18%, the ‘relax’ (80–95% CF) assignment rate was 43%, and 39% were not assigned; for SNPs, 39% ‘strict’ assignments were obtained (mean across 4 cohorts); the remaining offspring were not assigned. In general assignment rates were higher when cohort offspring were assigned to all parents combined, irrespective of method (Vitassign or Cervus) or marker used. However, consistency of assignments between microsatellites and SNPs was low: 28% with Vitassign and 16% with Cervus. Consistency of assignments between Cervus and Vitassign was high with SNPs (65%), but was low with microsatellites (31%). We conclude that missing parents and relatedness among candidate parents resulted in low assignment rates. Furthermore, low exclusion power of the microsatellite set resulted in low assignment rates and multiple parent pair assignments irrespective of method used. Exclusion methods and likelihood-based methods can be equally good for parental assignments, providing that good marker sets with high exclusion power are available.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Zooarcheological evidence suggests that pigs were domesticated in Southwest Asia ∼8,500 BC. They then spread across the Middle and Near East and westward into Europe alongside early agriculturalists. European pigs were either domesticated independently or appeared so as a result of admixture between introduced pigs and European wild boar. These pigs not only replaced those with Near Eastern signatures in Europe, they subsequently also replaced indigenous domestic pigs in the Near East. The specific details of these processes, however, remain unknown. To address questions related to early pig domestication, dispersal, and turnover in the Near East, we analyzed ancient mitochondrial DNA and dental geometric morphometric variation in 393 ancient pig specimens representing 48 archeological sites (from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic to the Medieval period) from Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Our results firstly reveal the genetic signature of early domestic pigs in Eastern Turkey. We also demonstrate that these early pigs differed genetically from those in western Anatolia that were introduced to Europe during the Neolithic expansion. In addition, we present a significantly more refined chronology for the introduction of European domestic pigs into Asia Minor that took place during the Bronze Age, nearly 1,000 years earlier than previously detected. By the 5(th) century AD, European signatures completely replaced the endemic lineages possibly coinciding with the demographic and societal changes during the Anatolian Bronze and Iron Ages.
Molecular Biology and Evolution 01/2013; 30(4):824-32. · 14.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enhancing selection using two-stage selection is normally implemented by pre-selection for tagging weight (BWT) and by final selection for ungutted harvest weight (BWH) and thermal growth coefficient from tagging to harvest (TGCTH). However, selection on harvest traits, i.e., gutted weight (GBWH), visceral percentage (VISW%), condition factor (CFH), and overall survival (SURV), can be enhanced by exploiting correlated traits. It can be hypothesized that the efficiency of two-stage selection on genetic response in BWH and TGCTH is dependent on their genetic (rg) and phenotypic (rp) correlations with BWT and therefore dependent on the time point of pre-selection. The aims of this study were, first, to estimate genetic parameters (heritability: h2, rp, and rg) for BWT (7 months), BWS (weight at sorting, 9 months), BWH (14 months), TGCTH, GBWH, VISW%, CFH, and SURV. Second, these genetic parameters were used in two deterministic simulation studies; i) one- and two-stage selections to compare genetic responses in BWH and TGCTH, and ii) alternative selection indices using correlated traits to compare corresponding accuracy of selection (rIH) for slaughter traits, CFH, and SURV. Genetic parameters were estimated using an animal mixed model in ASReml on 2,041 fish records. The main results showed that, first, rg of BWT was 0.35 with BWH but − 0.25 with TGCTH, whereas the rg of BWS was 0.72 with BWH but 0.39 with TGCTH. Pre-selection for BWS led to genetic response of 54.15 g in BWH which was higher than the genetic response from pre-selection for BWT (51.90 g). Similarly, pre-selection on BWS enhanced correlated genetic response in TGCTH to 0.30 g(1/3)/°C*day. In contrast, pre-selection for BWT resulted in lower correlated genetic response in TGCTH of 0.20 g(1/3)/°C*day. It can be concluded that genetic improvement of BWH and TGCTH can be enhanced by postponing pre-selection to a later age. However, an optimal time point for tagging and pre-selection should be found to minimize common environmental effects and rearing costs during communal rearing of full-sibs. Second, including GBWH in a selection index can reduce unfavourable selection responses in VISW%. The GBWH is highly genetically correlated with BWH and can be easily indirectly selected. TGCTH is a good predictor for selection for lower VISW%, and higher SURV, but not for higher CFH. To control genetic changes in the condition factor, it should be included to the selection index.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pig, Sus scrofa, is a foreign species to the American continent. Although pigs originally introduced in the Americas should be related to those from the Iberian Peninsula and Canary islands, the phylogeny of current creole pigs that now populate the continent is likely to be very complex. Because of the extreme climates that America harbors, these populations also provide a unique example of a fast evolutionary phenomenon of adaptation. Here, we provide a genome wide study of these issues by genotyping, with a 60k SNP chip, 206 village pigs sampled across 14 countries and 183 pigs from outgroup breeds that are potential founders of the American populations, including wild boar, Iberian, international and Chinese breeds. Results show that American village pigs are primarily of European ancestry, although the observed genetic landscape is that of a complex conglomerate. There was no correlation between genetic and geographical distances, neither continent wide nor when analyzing specific areas. Most populations showed a clear admixed structure where the Iberian pig was not necessarily the main component, illustrating how international breeds, but also Chinese pigs, have contributed to extant genetic composition of American village pigs. We also observe that many genes related to the cardiovascular system show an increased differentiation between altiplano and genetically related pigs living near sea level.Heredity advance online publication, 19 December 2012; doi:10.1038/hdy.2012.109.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For 10,000 years pigs and humans have shared a close and complex relationship. From domestication to modern breeding practices, humans have shaped the genomes of domestic pigs. Here we present the assembly and analysis of the genome sequence of a female domestic Duroc pig (Sus scrofa) and a comparison with the genomes of wild and domestic pigs from Europe and Asia. Wild pigs emerged in South East Asia and subsequently spread across Eurasia. Our results reveal a deep phylogenetic split between European and Asian wild boars ∼1 million years ago, and a selective sweep analysis indicates selection on genes involved in RNA processing and regulation. Genes associated with immune response and olfaction exhibit fast evolution. Pigs have the largest repertoire of functional olfactory receptor genes, reflecting the importance of smell in this scavenging animal. The pig genome sequence provides an important resource for further improvements of this important livestock species, and our identification of many putative disease-causing variants extends the potential of the pig as a biomedical model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus, GGA) and Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica, CCO) karyotypes are very similar. They have identical chromosome number (2n = 78) and show a high degree of synteny. Centromere positions on the majority of orthologous chromosomes are different in these two species. To explore the nature of this divergence, we used high-resolution comparative fluorescent in situ hybridization mapping on giant lampbrush chromosomes (LBCs) from growing oocytes. We applied 41 BAC clones specific for GGA1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 to chicken and quail LBCs. This approach allowed us to rule out a pericentric inversion earlier proposed to explain the difference between GGA1 and CCO1. In addition to a well-established large-scale pericentric inversion that discriminates GGA2 and CCO2, we identified another, smaller one in the large inverted region. For the first time, we described in detail inversions that distinguish GGA3 from CCO3 and GGA11 from CCO11. Despite the newly identified and confirmed inversions, our data suggest that, in chicken and Japanese quail, the difference in centromere positions is not mainly caused by pericentric inversions but is instead due to centromere repositioning events and the formation of new centromeres. We also consider the formation of short arms of quail microchromosomes by heterochromatin accumulation as a third scenario that could explain the discrepancy in centromeric indexes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inbreeding has long been recognized as a primary cause of fitness reduction in both wild and domesticated populations. Consanguineous matings cause inheritance of haplotypes that are identical by descent (IBD) and result in homozygous stretches along the genome of the offspring. Size and position of regions of homozygosity (ROHs) are expected to correlate with genomic features such as GC content and recombination rate, but also direction of selection. Thus, ROHs should be non-randomly distributed across the genome. Therefore, demographic history may not fully predict the effects of inbreeding. The porcine genome has a relatively heterogeneous distribution of recombination rate, making Sus scrofa an excellent model to study the influence of both recombination landscape and demography on genomic variation. This study utilizes next-generation sequencing data for the analysis of genomic ROH patterns, using a comparative sliding window approach. We present an in-depth study of genomic variation based on three different parameters: nucleotide diversity outside ROHs, the number of ROHs in the genome, and the average ROH size. We identified an abundance of ROHs in all genomes of multiple pigs from commercial breeds and wild populations from Eurasia. Size and number of ROHs are in agreement with known demography of the populations, with population bottlenecks highly increasing ROH occurrence. Nucleotide diversity outside ROHs is high in populations derived from a large ancient population, regardless of current population size. In addition, we show an unequal genomic ROH distribution, with strong correlations of ROH size and abundance with recombination rate and GC content. Global gene content does not correlate with ROH frequency, but some ROH hotspots do contain positive selected genes in commercial lines and wild populations. This study highlights the importance of the influence of demography and recombination on homozygosity in the genome to understand the effects of inbreeding.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Chato Murciano (CM), a pig breed from the Murcia region in the southeastern region of Spain, is a good model for endangered livestock populations. The remaining populations are bred on approximately 15 small farms, and no herdbook exists. To assess the genetic threats to the integrity and survival of the CM breed, and to aid in designing a conservation program, three genetic marker systems - microsatellites, SNPs and mtDNA - were applied across the majority of the total breeding stock. In addition, mtDNA and SNPs were genotyped in breeds that likely contributed genetically to the current CM gene pool. The analyses revealed the levels of genetic diversity within the range of other European local breeds (H(e) = 0.53). However, when the eight farms that rear at least 10 CM pigs were independently analyzed, high levels of inbreeding were found in some. Despite the evidence for recent crossbreeding with commercial breeds on a few farms, the entire breeding stock remains readily identifiable as CM, facilitating the design of traceability assays. The genetic management of the breed is consistent with farm size, farm owner and presence of other pig breeds on the farm, demonstrating the highly ad hoc nature of current CM breeding. The results of genetic diversity and substructure of the entire breed, as well as admixture and crossbreeding obtained in the present study, provide a benchmark to develop future conservation strategies. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that identifying farm-based practices and farm-based breeding stocks can aid in the design of a sustainable breeding program for minority breeds.