Rates of inbreeding and genetic adaptation for populations managed as herds in zoos with a rotational mating system or with optimized contribution of parents
This study compares two genetic management scenarios for species kept in herds, such as deer. The simulations were designed so that their results can be extended to a wide range of zoo populations. In the first scenario, the simulated populations of size 3 9 20, 6 9 40 or 20 9 60 (herds 9 animals in herd) were managed with a rotational mating (RM) scheme in which 10%, 20% or 50% of males were selected for breeding and moved between herds in a circular fashion. The second scenario was based on optimal contribution theory (OC). OC requires an accurate pedigree to calculate kinship; males were selected and assigned numbers of offspring to minimize kinship in the next generation. RM was efficient in restriction of inbreeding and produced results comparable with OC. However, RM can result in genetic adaptation of the population to the zoo environment, in particular when 20% or less males are selected for rotation and selection of animals is not random. Lowest rates of inbreeding were obtained by combining OC with rotation of males as in the RM scheme. RM is easy to implement in practice and does not require pedigree data. When full pedigree is available, OC management is preferable.
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Copyright © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. This is the accepted version of the above article, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jbg.12188