Genetic diversity of Barbary lion based on genealogic analysis

Kristína Lehocká, Jana Hanusová, Ondrej Kadlečík


Article Details: Received: 2018-09-10 | Accepted: 2018-10-17 | Available online: 2018-09-31

The aim of this study was to evaluate the state of genetic diversity in population of Barbary lion based on the genealogical analysis. Currently, this lion subspecies does not occur in the wild, and its population is considered to be critically endangered. The pedigree file consisted of 545 animals, while the reference population included 445 individuals. Alongside pedigree completeness, the parameters derived from common ancestor were used to analyse the state of genetic diversity in target population. The completeness of pedigree data had significantly decreasing tendency with increasing generations. The pedigree completeness index was the highest in the first generation (68 %). The average value of the inbreeding coefficient was very similar in the reference population and the pedigree file (= 0.05). Across generations, the trend of inbreeding increase was positive mainly due to the long-term use of specific lines and families for mating. The relative high average relatedness among individuals (AR = 0.06) only reflected the individual increase in inbreeding (3.18 %). As expected the higher level of individual increase in inbreeding was found in the pedigree file (3.41 %). The effective population size at level 26.66 confirmed that the Barbary lion is critically endangered by the loss of diversity. Because of this, the future continuous monitoring of genetic diversity of this subspecies is necessary, especially for long-term conservation purposes.

Keywords: Barbary lion, diversity, endangered species, pedigree analysis


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