Cortes, O., Martinez, A.M., Canon, J., Sevane, N., Gama, L.T., Ginja, C., Landi, V., Zaragoza, P., Carolino, N., Vicente, A., Sponenberg, P. & Delgado, J.V. (2016) Conservation priorities of Iberoamerican pig breeds and their ancestors based on microsatellite information.Heredity, 117(1), 14-24. DOI:10.1038/hdy.2016.21 (IF2015 3,801; Q1 Ecology)
Criollo pig breeds are descendants from pigs brought to the American continent starting with Columbus second trip in 1493. Pigs currently play a key role in social economy and community cultural identity in Latin America. The aim of this study was to establish conservation priorities among a comprehensive group of Criollo pig breeds based on a set of 24 microsatellite markers and using different criteria. Spain and Portugal pig breeds, wild boar populations of different European geographic origins and commercial pig breeds were included in the analysis as potential genetic influences in the development of Criollo pig breeds. Different methods, differing in the weight given to within- and between-breed genetic variability, were used in order to estimate the contribution of each breed to global genetic diversity. As expected, the partial contribution to total heterozygosity gave high priority to Criollo pig breeds, whereas Weitzman procedures prioritized Iberian Peninsula breeds. With the combined within- and between-breed approaches, different conservation priorities were achieved. The Core Set methodologies highly prioritized Criollo pig breeds (Cr. Boliviano, Cr. Pacifico, Cr. Cubano and Cr. Guadalupe). However, weighing the between- and within-breed components with FST and 1-FST, respectively, resulted in higher contributions of Iberian breeds. In spite of the different conservation priorities according to the methodology used, other factors in addition to genetic information also need to be considered in conservation programmes, such as the economic, cultural or historical value of the breeds involved.