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Captive Breeding Programs Based on Family Groups in Polyploid Sturgeons
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Publication types: Research Article ; research-article Identifiant PubMed Central: PMC4214717
In species with long life cycles and discontinuous availability of individuals to reproduction, implementing a long-term captive breeding program can be difficult or impossible. In such cases, managing diversity among familiar groups instead of individuals could become a suitable approach to avoid inbreeding and increase the possibility to accomplish a breeding scheme. This is the case of several sturgeon species including the Adriatic sturgeon, whose recovery depends on the management of a few captive stocks directly descended from the same group of wild parents. In the present study, relatedness among 445 potential breeders was inferred with a novel software for pedigree reconstruction in tetraploids ("BreedingSturgeons"). This information was used to plan a breeding scheme considering familiar groups as breeding units and identifying mating priorities. A two-step strategy is proposed: a short-term breeding program, relying on the 13 remaining F0 individuals of certain wild origin; and a long-term plan based on F1 families. Simulations to evaluate the loss of alleles in the F2 generation under different pairing strategies and assess the number of individuals to breed, costs and logistical aquaculture constraints were performed. The strategy proposed is transferable to the several other tetraploid sturgeon species on the brink of extinction.
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