The use of genomic information for the conservation of animal genetic diversity

Kor Oldenbroek, J.


The conservation of genetic diversity, both among and within breeds, is a costly process. Therefore, choices between breeds and animals within breeds are unavoidable, either for conservation in vitro (gene banks) or in vivo (maintaining small populations alive). Nowadays, genomic information on breeds and individual animals is the standard for the choices to be made in conservation. Genomics may accurately measure the genetic distances among breeds and the relationships among animals within breeds. Homozygosity at loci and at parts of chromosomes is used to measure inbreed-ing. In addition, genomics can be used to detect potentially valuable rare alleles and haplotypes, their carriers in these breeds and can facilitate in vivo or in vitro conservations of these genomic regions.