Marker-Assisted Mating Applied in In-Situ Conservation of Indigenous Animals in Small Populations : (1) Choosing Mating Schemes for Maximum Heterozygosity

  • Wu, X.L. (Hunan Institute of Animal and Veterinary Science) ;
  • Liu, R.Z. (Hunan Agricultural University) ;
  • Shi, Q.S. (Hunan Agricultural University) ;
  • Liu, X.C. (Hunan Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, X. (Hunan Agricultural University) ;
  • Wu, M.S. (Xiangtan Livestock Breeding Station)
  • Received : 1999.01.25
  • Accepted : 1999.07.12
  • Published : 2000.04.01


Maintaining maximum genetic variability is of critical importance with in-situ conservation of animal species in small populations. Marker-assisted mating (MAM) was suggested to achieve maximum heterozygosity in offspring populations. The aims of this research was to investigate and decide the effectiveness and promising types of MAM to achieve this goal. Analysis of variance with simulation data revealed that the heterozygosity in offspring populations was significantly determined by sire heterozygosity from mating of non-inbred parent animals, and significantly by sire heterozygosity and percent parental difference in offspring reproduced by inbred parents. Seven types of marker-assisted mating schemes were examined, in which offspring exhibited heterozygosity that was -0.01 to 7.37% below or above that from random mating of non-inbred parent animals, and 0.00 to 16.39% above that from random mating of inbred parent animals. The great increase in offspring heterozygosity was observed with mating by tandem maximizing sire heterozygosity, percent parental difference, and dam heterozygosity. Random mating resulted in fluctuation of offspring heterozygosity. These results suggested that MAM was a promising method for maintaining maximum offspring variability in in-situ conservation of animal species in small populations.


Marker-Assisted Mating;In-Situ Conservation;Indigenous Animals;Heterozygosity


Supported by : China Natural Science Fund Foundation, Natural Science Fund Foundation of Hunan Province