Evaluation of the Romosinuano cattle population structure in Mexico using pedigree analysis

Keywords: effective population size, gene flow, genetic diversity, genetic drift, generation interval, inbreeding, pedigree, population structure, probability of gene origin, Romosinuano cattle


Background: Romosinuano cattle breed in Mexico has endured isolation and it is necessary to characterize it in order to facilitate sustainable genetic management. Objective: To assess the evolution of the structure and genetic diversity of the Romosinuano breed in Mexico, through pedigree analysis. Methods: Pedigree data was obtained from Asociación Mexicana de Criadores de Ganado Romosinuano y Lechero Tropical (AMCROLET). The ENDOG program (4.8 version) was used to analyze two datasets, one that includes upgrading from F1 animals (UP) and the other with only straight-bred cattle (SP). For both datasets, three reference populations were defined: 1998-2003 (RP1), 2004-2009 (RP2), and 2010-2017 (RP3). The pedigree included 3,432 animals in UP and 1,518 in SP. Demographic parameters were: Generation interval (GI), equivalent number of generations (EG), pedigree completeness index (PCI), and gene flow among herds. Genetic parameters were: Inbreeding (F) and average relatedness (AR) coefficients, effective population size (Nec), effective number of founders and ancestors, and number of founder genome equivalents. Results: The GI varied from 6.10 to 6.54 for UP, and from 6.47 to 7.16 yr for SP. The EG of the UP and SP improved >63% from RP1 to RP3. The PCI increased over time. No nucleus or isolated herds were found. For RP3, F and AR reached 2.08 and 5.12% in the UP, and 2.55 and 5.94% in the SP. For RP3, Nec was 57 in the UP and 45 in the SP. Genetic diversity losses were attributed mainly (>66%) to genetic drift, except for RP3 in the SP (44%). Conclusions: A reduction of the genetic diversity has been occurring after the Romosinuano breed association was established in Mexico, and this is mainly due to random loss of genes.

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Author Biography

Rafael Núñez-Domínguez, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo
Departamento de Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Chapingo, México.
Original research articles