Cross-Breeding Is Inevitable to Conserve the Highly Inbred Population of Puffin Hunter: The Norwegian Lundehund
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLoS ONE. 2017, 12 (1): e0170039. 10.1371/journal.pone.0170039
The Norwegian Lundehund is a highly endangered native dog breed. Low fertility and high frequency predisposition to intestinal disorder imply inbreeding depression. We assessed the genetic diversity of the Lundehund population from pedigree data and evaluated the potential of optimal contribution selection and cross-breeding in the long-term management of the Lundehund population. The current Norwegian Lundehund population is highly inbred and has lost 38.8% of the genetic diversity in the base population. Effective population size estimates varied between 13 and 82 depending on the method used. Optimal contribution selection alone facilitates no improvement in the current situation in the Lundehund due to the extremely high relatedness of the whole population. Addition of (replacement with) 10 breeding candidates of foreign breed to 30 Lundehund breeders reduced the parental additive genetic relationship by 40–42% (48–53%). Immediate actions are needed to increase the genetic diversity in the current Lundehund population. The only option to secure the conservation of this rare breed is to introduce individuals from foreign breeds as breeding candidates.