Articles | Volume 58, issue 2
13 Aug 2015
 | 13 Aug 2015

A pedigree-based analysis of mitochondrial DNA diversity in a dog population on the example of German Hovawarts

S. Zielińska and I. Głażewska

Abstract. The purpose of the article is to illustrate the use of pedigree analysis to evaluate mtDNA diversity in a selected population of pedigree dogs, to describe the paths of mtDNA inheritance and to estimate the spread of potential pedigree errors or mutations that occurred in different generations of ancestors. Hovawart, old German breed, was used as an example. The number and frequencies of mtDNA haplotypes were calculated based on numbers of dam lines and their representatives. The scale of potential errors in calculations that can result from pedigree errors or from new mutations in ancestors from the 5th or 10th ancestral generation was evaluated. The analysis included 368 breeding bitches from four German kennel organizations. The bitches represented three dam lines, with the Ho1, Ho2 and HoU mtDNA haplotypes. Significant differences in the frequency of the haplotypes in the population, from 0.27 to 73.37 %, and among kennel organizations and regions of the country were recorded. Considerable differences in the scale of potential errors in calculations arising from mtDNA mutations or pedigree errors were noted between 0.27 and 28.69 %, depending on the number of representatives of the subline in which the error appeared and the generation taken into account in the simulations. The study revealed an interesting paradox: although the differences between the haplotypes are the result of events (mutations) from thousands of years ago, the number and the frequencies of the haplotypes in the population are the result of the modern history of the population and current breeding policy.