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Low-density genotype panel for both parentage verification and discovery in a multi-breed sheep population


The generally low usage of artificial insemination and single-sire mating in sheep, compounded by mob lambing (and lambing outdoors), implies that parentage assignment in sheep is challenging. The objective here was to develop a low-density panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for accurate parentage verification and discovery in sheep. Of particular interest was where SNP selection was limited to only a subset of chromosomes, thereby eliminating the ability to accurately impute genome-wide denser marker panels. Data used consisted of 10,933 candidate SNPs on 9,390 purebred sheep. These data consisted of 1,876 validated genotyped sire–offspring pairs and 2,784 validated genotyped dam–offspring pairs. The SNP panels developed consisted of 87 SNPs to 500 SNPs. Parentage verification and discovery were undertaken using 1) exclusion, based on the sharing of at least one allele between candidate parent–offspring pairs, and 2) a likelihood-based approach. Based on exclusion, allowing for one discordant offspring–parent genotype, a minimum of 350 SNPs was required when the goal was to unambiguously identify the true sire or dam from all possible candidates. Results suggest that, if selecting SNPs across the entire genome, a minimum of 250 carefully selected SNPs are required to ensure that the most likely selected parent (based on the likelihood approach) was, in fact, the true parent. If restricting the SNPs to just a subset of chromosomes, the recommendation is to use at least a 300-SNP panel from at least six chromosomes, with approximately an equal number of SNPs per chromosome.

Open access
Genomic descriptors of biodiversity – A review


The characterization of livestock genetic diversity has experienced extensive changes with the availability of dense nucleotide markers. Among the various forms of markers, the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) have arguably the largest influence. A wide range of indicators for the assessment of genetic diversity was developed, or the existing methods were improved, enabling us to make informed decisions on the management of livestock populations. This review discusses the selected aspects of diversity assessment, with special attention to the SNP based methods.

One of the core concepts in genomics of diversity is the linkage disequilibrium (LD), as it was shaped by demographic events during the development of breeds and species. These events, either natural or artificial, left detectable signals within the livestock genomes. Further changes were induced by human activity when mating related animals, leading to fixing or improving the desired traits in the breed, but reducing their genetic variability. The assessment of relatedness is also pivotal to construct meaningful mating plans and to avoid the negative consequences of inbreeding depression that might be detrimental especially in small, endangered populations. Both LD and relatedness are of interest on their own, as well as in their follow-up applications deriving overall measures of effective population size.

Open access
Insulin-like growth factor-I gene polymorphism and its association with growth and slaughter characteristics in broiler chickens

Insulin-like growth factor-I gene polymorphism and its association with growth and slaughter characteristics in broiler chickens

Chicken insulin-like factor 1 gene (IGF1) is a biological candidate gene for the investigation of growth, body composition, and metabolic and skeletal traits, and is also a positional candidate gene for growth and fat deposition in chickens. Two broiler populations Ross 308 and Cobb 500 were used to study the relationship between IGF1 gene polymorphism and phenotypic traits. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was identified in 132 individuals using the PCR-RFLP technique. Genotypical frequencies were, for genotype AA: 0.83-0.86, and for AC: 0.14-0.17. Associations between IGF1 promotor polymorphism and liver weight (P≤0.05) and liver weight as a percentage of the weight of the poultry carcass with the giblets (P≤0.05), were found in the AC genotype in a comparison of broiler homozygous chickens AA in the Cobb 500 line. In these broilers, the breast muscle and leg muscle weight in the AC genotype were higher, and abdominal fat weight lower compared with AA genotype chickens, but these differences were not significant.

Open access