[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Pallaresa cattle breed is a native population of beef cattle found in the western regions of the Catalan Pyrenees (Spain). Since the second half of the twentieth century, population size decreased dramatically in favour of the Bruno dels Pirineus breed. At the present time, it is classified as a relic breed on the brink of extinction by the FAO, as only 22 breeding animals remain alive (2 bulls and 20 cows). Its importance as genetic and cultural heritage and its contribution in maintaining the landscape and ecosystem, as well as its unquestionable interest as a tourist attraction, make it an irreplaceable element in this area. In this paper, we present the breed characterisation of the population at the molecular, genealogical and morphological levels, and the comparison and phylogenctic relationships with other local breeds, in order to contribute to the characterisation of this prominent genetic resource. Genealogical analyses showed that the Pallaresa population is highly inbred. The mean inbreeding for both the whole pedigree and the living population was 18.93% and 25.71%, respectively. A set of 15 microsatellites were typed on the available Pallaresa individuals to ascertain the genetic variability of the breed at the molecular level and to allow a direct comparison with a set of previously studied 19 local cattle breeds from Spain. Portugal and France. The average number of alleles per locus for the Pallaresa breed (4.3) was the lowest of the analysed breeds and the within-population genetic identity, assessed using molecular coancestry, the highest (0.437). The Pallaresa population showed high levels of differentiation from the other analysed breeds. The lowest kinship distance was assessed for the pairs formed with the Bruno dels Pirineus and Salers breeds (0.417+/-0.010 and 0.427+/-0.011, respectively). STRUCTURE analysis showed that most Pallaresa individuals were assigned to one distinct cluster, showing that the breed gathers a unique genetic background. Despite its dramatic population scenario, the Pallaresa breed still preserves moderate levels of genetic diversity. The results obtained from the current study can contribute to design appropriate conservation strategies to prevent its extinction in the near future. The implementation of a mating programme involving Pallaresa bulls and Bruna dels Pirineus cows selected according to genetic and morphological closeness to the Pallaresa breed is suggested to prevent the genetic impoverishment of the population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: La Xisqueta es una raza ovina de orientación cárnica que se localiza mayoritariamente en tres comarcas del N-O de Catalunya (España). Se caracteriza por poseer una coloración centrífuga particular y por ser una raza rústica, perfectamente adaptada a las condiciones trashumantes y pirenaicas. El censo aproximado de xisquetas en pureza lo situamos entre 12 000 y 15 000 hembras reproductoras, habiendo sufrido una importante reducción en las últimas décadas.La caracterización estructural de las explotaciones de Xisqueta se ha realizado mediante una encuesta, y los resultados se han analizado estadísticamente con el fin de obtener información sobre la distribución poblacional, los sistemas de manejo productivo y reproductivo, la sanidad y otras cuestiones adicionales sobre el entorno social de los ganaderos.Utilizando como base la información y resultados generados en el presente estudio, se pretende iniciar un programa de conservación de la raza, el cual deberá englobar las marcadas diferencias existentes entre las comarcas de la región. Además, deberá considerarse la elevada media de edad de los ganaderos (52 años como promedio) y el bajo relevo generacional de las explotaciones (<30%), factores que agravan la continuidad del sector ovino en dichas comarcas.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, the mitochondrial DNA diversity of six Spanish donkey breeds and two African donkey populations (one from Morocco and the other from Zimbabwe) was analysed. A total of 79 animals were sequenced for 313 bp of the cytochrome b gene, and 91 individuals for 383 bp of the D-loop region or control-region. Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses of both Spanish and African populations revealed low diversity. Only six and seven haplotypes respectively were found in cytochrome b and the D-loop region. Relatively low nucleotide diversity (p) values were detected in these populations. The p values, from the D-loop region, ranged from 0.0006 to 0.0169 for the Catalana and Andaluza breeds, respectively. The obtained results seem to confirm the existence of two divergent maternal lineages of African origin (Equus asinus africanus and E. a. somaliensis). In this paper the genetic relationships between these breeds are analysed and compared with those obtained in other European populations. Also, the data on the genetic relationships between the populations, obtained from nuclear DNA (microsatellites) and mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome b and D-loop region) is argued and interpreted
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics 10/2004; 121(5). DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0388.2004.00464.x · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal genetic resources available throughout the world are in dramatic state of decline. This re- sults in the disappearance of substantial numbers of local ani- mal populations, and the consequent loss of their ability to adapt genetically to their local environments. This study ana- lyzes the genetic variability and structure of a limited rare population, a local beef cattle breed from Majorca Isle (Spain): the Mallorquina breed, based on the analysis of 15 micro- satellites. A total of 26 individuals, grouped according to coat color, were sampled: 12 from the red Mallorquina variety and 14 from the black Mallorquina variety. The genetic relation- ships between these subpopulations and five other Spanish cattle breeds were analyzed and compared. The levels of ge- netic variability were very similar for the two varieties, and comparable to those obtained in other Spanish and Europeans breeds. The value of genetic differentiation (FST) between the two varieties was low (0.3%), indicating the existence of high gene flow between the two groups, and great genetic similarity between them. On the other hand, the values obtained for FIS and FIT were 1.9% and 1.6%, with no statistical difference of zero, showing in this population, Hardy Weinberg equilibrium. The probability of exclusion (PE) was 99.9%, which allows us to utilize these markers as a good tool for individual identifica- tion and parentage testing. Genetic distance and the dendro- gram results obtained show a clear separation between the peninsular Spanish bovine populations and the two Majorcan