Radovan Kasarda's Lab
Featured research (6)
This study evaluates the diversity of the so-called ‘Moroccan Royal lions’ using genealogical information. Lions are no longer extant in North Africa, but the previous wild population was an important element of the now-recognised northern subspecies ( Panthera leo leo ) that ranged across West Africa, North Africa and the Middle East into India. The remaining captive population of ‘Moroccan Royal lions’ seems to be significantly endangered by the loss of diversity due to the effective population size decrease. The pedigree file of this captive lion population consisted of 454 individuals, while the reference population included 98 animals (47 males and 51 females). The completeness of the pedigree data significantly decreased with an increasing number of generations. The highest percentage of pedigree completeness (over 70%) was achieved in the first generation of the reference population. Pedigree-based parameters derived from the common ancestor and gene origin were used to estimate the state of diversity. In the reference population, the average inbreeding coefficient was 2.14%, while the individual increase in inbreeding over generations was 2.31%. Overall, the reference population showed lower average inbreeding and average relatedness compared with the pedigree file. The number of founders (47), the effective number of founders (24) and the effective number of ancestors (22) were estimated in the reference population. The effective population size of 14.02 individuals confirms the critically endangered status of the population and rapid loss of diversity in the future. Thus, continuous monitoring of the genetic diversity of the ‘Moroccan Royal lion’ group is required, especially for long-term conservation management purposes, as it would be an important captive group should further DNA studies establish an affinity to P . leo leo .
This study aimed to assess the level of biodiversity in selected local cattle populations as important food resources in Slovakia. The biodiversity level was derived from the genome-wide data collected for dairy (Jersey), dual-purpose (Slovak Pinzgau, Slovak Spotted), and beef breeds (Charolais, Limousine). The commonly used indices, genomic inbreeding (FROH, FGRM, FHOM, FUNI) and effective population size (NeLD), were used to quantify the impact of relatives mating on the genome of analysed populations. Even if the low NeLD estimates signalise significant loss of genetic variability within populations, the genomic inbreeding under 1% (except Jersey) showed that the intensity of diversity loss is not so rapid and can be managed by the re-arrangement of long-term breeding strategies. The analysis of genetic differentiation degree across populations assumed that the specialisation of breeds during their grading-up led to the specific nucleotide changes, especially in genes responsible for preferred phenotypic traits. The breed-specific differences observed mainly in the genome of Charolais (carcass traits) and Jersey (milk production traits) populations resulted from the polymorphisms in CAPN1 (μ-calpain) and CSN1S2 (casein alpha s2) genes, respectively. Obtained results confirmed that the specific haplotypes are strongly associated with the genetic nature of breed depending on production type.
The study aimed to examine the analyses of the trend in the numbers of dairy cows, production and reproductive traits in the population the Slovak Spotted cattle for period 2010 to 2019. The number of Slovak Spotted dairy cows is maintained on a relatively stable level in recent years. There was a decrease in the number of animals (12 428 in 2010), but not as strong as after 1990 (85,518). From 2017 number of animals is rising from 14,062, to 14,150 (2018) and 14,627 (2019), respectively. As compared to 2010 an increase of 13.15% in 2017, 13.86% and 17.68%, in 2018 and 2019 respectively was observed. Population size raised from 113.15% (2017) to 117.68% in 2019 respectively. The average annual increase in milk production between the years 2010 to 2019 was + 157.5 kg of milk (total 1,575 kg of milk), + 5.8 kg of fat (total 58 kg of fat) and + 6.1 kg of protein (total 61 kg of protein). Positive growth of milk production in recent years is slightly comparable with the trend of breeding improvement.
The objective of the study was to determine the membership probability and level of admixture among Slovak Spotted cattle and historically related breeds (Ayshire, Holstein, Swiss Simmental and Slovak Pinzgau). The analysis was based on the panel of 35 934 SNPs that were used for genotyping of 423 individuals. The optimal number of clusters was estimated in two ways; by analysis of Bayesian information criterion and Bayesian clustering algorithm. The optimal number of clusters ranged from 3 to 5, depending on the applied approach. Subsequently, the population structure was tested by discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC) and unsupervised Bayesian analysis based on the correlated allele frequencies model. The first discriminant function revealed three genetic clusters in population resulting from the production type and origin of analysed breeds. The unsupervised Bayesian analysis showed similar results, where the highest level of admixture was found between Slovak Pinzgau and Slovak Spotted cattle (0.6%). Despite that, the results of this study clearly showed that the Slovak Spotted cattle is genetically separated from other breeds that were involved in its grading-up process.
- Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding Biology (KGPB)
About Radovan Kasarda
- Radovan Kasarda currently works at the Animal Genetics and Breeding Biology (KGPB), Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra - Slovenska polnohospodarska univerzita v Nitre. Radovan does research in Animal Science and Food Science. Their current project is 'Genetic Diversity and Production Potential of Food Resources.'