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Genetic variability of the Bracco Italiano dog breed based on microsatellite polimorphysm

Author(s): Roberta Ciampolini | Francesca Cecchi | Assunta Bramante | Fabio Casetti | Silvano Presciuttini

Journal: Italian Journal of Animal Science
ISSN 1594-4077

Volume: 10;
Issue: 4;
Start page: e59;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Genetic variability | Bracco Italiano dog breed | Microsatellite markers

The Bracco Italiano is one of the oldest breeds of Italian pointing dogs, used for hunting ever since Renaissance times. After the Second World War it was included among the breeds officially recorded by the ENCI (the Italian Cynological Club), and since 1970 more than 23,000 animals have been registered; there are currently approximately 750 births per year. In this paper, we present the breed characterization of the population at the molecular level using 21 STR markers from the panels recommended for the 2006, 2008 and 2010 ISAG canine comparison test. Number of alleles, allele frequencies, deviations from Hardy-Weinberg proportions, linkage disequilibrium among loci, genetic similarity, genetic distances and molecular co-ancestry-based parameters were calculated. The number of alleles ranged from 3 to 9 (mean 6.43) whereas the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.44 to 0.81 (mean 0.64). There was a high genetic similarity within the whole population (0.455) showing the great homogeneity of the sampled animals, as confirmed also by the small kinship distance (0.336), by the high values of the self molecular coancestry (0.703) and of the inbreeding coefficient (0.406). These results suggest the need for a careful genetic management of the population in order to avoid the risk of an excessive increase in the inbreeding level which would result in significant inbreeding depression and in significant loss of genetic variation.
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