Genetic diversity evolution in the Mexican Charolais cattle population

  • Rios-Utrera, Angel (Campo Experimental La Posta, Centro de Investigacion Regional Golfo-Centro, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias) ;
  • Montano-Bermudez, Moises (CENIDFyMA, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias) ;
  • Vega-Murillo, Vicente Eliezer (Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Veracruzana) ;
  • Martinez-Velazquez, Guillermo (Campo Experimental Santiago Ixcuintla, Centro de Investigacion Regional Pacifico-Centro, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias) ;
  • Baeza-Rodriguez, Juan Jose (Campo Experimental Mococha, Centro de Investigacion Regional Pacífico-Sur, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias) ;
  • Roman-Ponce, Sergio Ivan (Campo Experimental La Campana, Centro de Investigacion Regional Norte-Centro, Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias)
  • Received : 2020.06.13
  • Accepted : 2020.08.16
  • Published : 2021.07.01


Objective: The aim was to characterize the genetic diversity evolution of the registered Mexican Charolais cattle population by pedigree analysis. Methods: Data consisted of 331,390 pedigree records of animals born from 1934 to 2018. Average complete generation equivalent, generation interval, effective population size (Ne), and effective numbers of founders (fe), ancestors (fa), and founder genomes (Ng) were calculated for seven five-year periods. The inbreeding coefficient was calculated per year of birth, from 1984 to 2018, whereas the gene contribution of the most influential ancestors was calculated for the latter period. Results: Average complete generation equivalent consistently increased across periods, from 4.76, for the first period (1984 through 1988), to 7.86, for the last period (2014 through 2018). The inbreeding coefficient showed a relative steadiness across the last seventeen years, oscillating from 0.0110 to 0.0145. During the last period, the average generation interval for the father-offspring pathways was nearly 1 yr. longer than that of the mother-offspring pathways. The effective population size increased steadily since 1984 (105.0) and until 2013 (237.1), but showed a minor decline from 2013 to 2018 (233.2). The population displayed an increase in the fa since 1984 and until 2008; however, showed a small decrease during the last decade. The effective number of founder genomes increased from 1984 to 2003, but revealed loss of genetic variability during the last fifteen years (from 136.4 to 127.7). The fa:fe ratio suggests that the genetic diversity loss was partially caused by formation of genetic bottlenecks in the pedigree; in addition, the Ng:fa ratio indicates loss of founder alleles due to genetic drift. The most influential ancestor explained 1.8% of the total genetic variability in the progeny born from 2014 to 2018. Conclusion: Inbreeding, Ne, fa, and Ng are rather beyond critical levels; therefore, the current genetic status of the population is not at risk.



The provision of the pedigree information by the Charolais Charbray Herd Book de Mexico is greatly appreciated.


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