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TDK conference 2014

A populationgenetic study of Original Braunvieh in Bavarian Allgäu
Heller Georg-Ulrich - year 6
SZIU Faculty of Veterinary Science, Institute for Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Supervisor: Dr. András Gáspárdy


Braunvieh breed group of cattle is considered as a descendant of the Torfrind which has been living in fore Alp region in the Early Bronze Age. Other cattle strains (like Illyrian, Ligurian-Iberian, Raetian, Alemanni, and Podolian Cattle) contributed to its development. Well defined multipurpose variants of the Braunvieh breed group (e.g. Allgäuer, Oberinntaler, Lechtaler, Montafoner, Schwyzer, Eringer) appeared on the course of its history, and became threatened by extinction.

The objective of this study is to characterize the endangered population of the Original Braunvieh in Bavaria especially based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.

For the analysis their major body measurements, the pedigree data as well as hair root samples of 60 cows (which represented one third of the population) were recorded in 2013.

With regard to the body measurements and to the body indices, a large variance was observed. All body measurements showed significant (p<0.10) increase with age. While no changes in the body indices were found (with except of index of body capacity). It is concluded that a slow isometric growth is typical for the Original Braunvieh cows.

The 60 cows belonged to 48 families. The pedigree consisted of 1.011 individuals, the average pedigree length was 5.5 generations, and the average inbreeding coefficient of 0.002 (with slight increase by generation) showed high heterozygosity of the population.

In the DNA analysis the forward and reverse primers designed by Primer 3 software were used to amplify the region of a 825-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA control region (corresponding to positions 15858-355 of accession number: V00654). Sequences were aligned using CLUSTALW, and manually checked in the BIOEDIT program. For further analysis, sequences of 611 bp in length were used. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity, number of polymorphic sites, average number of nucleotide differences were calculated with DnaSP version 5.10. In addition, networks were calculated using a median-joining approach with default settings using NETWORK 4.111 to evaluate the phylogenetic position of Original Braunvieh in the context of other 202 cattle sequences (of sex breeds) from the Genbank.

After aligning and trimming of the sequences of 60 Original Braunvieh, only 49 samples with 611 fragment size were useful for the purpose of further analysis . Among these 49 samples of the Original Braunvieh, 33 haplotypes were detected by 57 polymorphic sites, in which 37 sites were of transitions, and 21 sites of transversions.

In the network the Original Braunvieh breed was not separated definitely from other breeds, it shared haplotypes for the most part with Hungarian Grey Cattle.

It can be stated that the endangered Original Braunvieh breed in Bavaria in spite of its small population size shows large phenotypic and genetic variability which indicates a proper breeding work and serves as a basis for the future preservation.

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