Author(s): Dimitrijević Vladimir, Savić Mila, Tarić Elmin, Stanišić Ljubodrag, Stanimirović Zoran, Tabaković Aleksandar, Aleksić M. Jelena
Keywords:Genetic diversity, nuclear microsatellites, population substructure, Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog – Sharplanina, Western Balkans
Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog - Sharplanina (YSD) is a livestock guard dog from the Western Balkans present in this region over a long time, but recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale as a distinct breed as late as 1957. However, the information regarding the origin and the size of the breed’s foundation stock is still lacking. In order to contribute towards better understanding of the genetic make-up of the YSD and its foundation stock, we re-analyzed previously generated genetic profiles of 94 registered YSD dogs assessed with nine nuclear microsatellites. Studied individuals comprised 90 unrelated dogs and two pairs of full-sibs, sampled at four sampling sites: three dog shows and at a military training centre for dogs in Serbia. We supported earlier findings on high levels of genetic diversity in YSD (HE=0.728±0.027) and lack of inbreeding, and revealed substructure of the breed because we found two distinct gene pools in the Bayesian clustering analysis, indicated also by the excess of homozygotes (i.e., Wahlund effect) and outcomes of other analyses: linkage disequilibrium tests, Neighbour-Joining tree, principal coordinates and two-dimensional scaling analyses. The two gene pools were almost equally represented at each sampling site. One gene pool was composed of individuals with high genetic integrity, while the other gene pool was characterized with admixed ancestry, developed possibly via hybridization with native breeding stock outside the registry system, other breeds, such as the Caucasian Shepherd, and/or individuals admixed with wolves. Thus, we demonstrate rather complex and diverse ancestry implying a genetically heterogeneous foundation stock of the YSD.
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