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"Genetic Rescue of the Highly Inbred Norwegian Lundehund" - New Research


Brenda Bonnett

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Genetic Rescue of the Highly Inbred Norwegian Lundehund

 

... is a new paper about attempts to 'save' the Lundehund breed and is a good reference for anyone working with a rare breed. 

This Lundehund was reduced from a relatively rare one to one with such low genetic diversity that its survival was doubtful.  Under these conditions, outcrossing to other breeds offered the one possibility.  This paper shows some success, but, not surprisingly, researchers found that crossing the first generation back to the Lundehund reduced the genetic diversity of outcrosses.

Outcrossing programs have been utilized for other breeds in Finland, with a carefully planned program, with some success (see links below).  Breeders must be willing to make some tough decisions in these cases and have the patience to 'do it right' if they wanted to save these rare and endangered breeds.

The conclusions of the Lundehund paper are:

"This study clearly documents the beneficial genetic effect of outcrossing a highly inbred dog population. It also documents that backcrossing the F1 generation to the parental population results in a loss of some of the desired heterozygosity achieved in the initial outcross. To preserve the characteristics of the Lundehund, the F2 dogs were made by crossing the F1 with the Lundehund and not with other F2 dogs from different lineages." ... "Thus, stakeholders in the program and in future genetic rescue projects can use this data in combination with health data for the F1 and F2 animals to evaluate the effectiveness of the genetic rescue program so far. Our results indicate that additional crossbreeding would extend and augment the genetic rescue process." ...  

PAPER:

Lundehund genetic rescue.pdf

LINKS:

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