Effective population size is an important parameter in conservation genetics as it can help to explain patterns of genetic variation in damaged populations. Ne has been traditionally estimated from demographic data or from molecular markers based on the temporal variance of the allele frequencies that provide pointwise or average estimates over a time period. Here we have inferred ancestral and current Ne in an ancient population of Iberian pigs that is under serious danger of extinction, using information from linkage disequilibrium and recombination rate. Our results show that Ne has suffered a progressive decline through time in this population, with a critical estimate of current Ne. The availability of genome-wide genotyping platforms allows the study of populations from a more detailed perspective, providing information on the genetic status of the populations and on its evolution across time.

Maria Saura, John A Woolliams, Albert Tenesa, Almudena Fernandez, Beatriz Villanueva

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Species Breeding: Swine (Posters), , 938, 2014
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