The climate change that’s underway constitutes a threat for the future of animal genetic resources and has led the researchers of the University of Milan as well as many other researchers in other universities and research centers headed by Professor Paola Crepaldi as part of the Italian Goat Consortium initiative to inquire as to what will be the future of the many goat breeds with respect to the climate changes predicted for the next 70 years.
In the paper ‘The climatic and genetic heritage of Italian goat breeds with genomic SNP data’ published in the prestigious journal, Scientific Report Dr. Matteo Cortellari of DISAA of Milan together with Dr. Mario Barbato of the Catholic University of Piacenza investigated the genetic structure of the Italian goat population (33 breeds/population, totaling more than 1,000 animals) using more than 50,000 SNP markers with respect to present and future climate conditions characterizing their breeding range.
Their results showed that Italian goats can be divided into three groups based on Italian geography and the geopolitical situation before 1871. Moreover, a landscape genomic approach identified genotypes connected to climatic variables in genomic regions that host genes linked with growth, circadian rhythms, fertility and inflammatory responses. These results make predictions regarding future genotypic frequencies possible, so their long-term effect on the genetic structure of Italian goat populations can be determined.
Their work provides an overview of the past and future of the many goat populations bred in Italy and can serve as a model for formulating strategic plans to conserve livestock biodiversity in connection with local realities and climate changes in progress.
Figure: Current (a) and future (b) climatic situation of the Italian regions according to the Koppen climate classification with the relative sampling positions of goat breeds / populations and image of their distribution over the territory (c).
REFERENCE TO A WEBSITE OR TO A LINK
Cortellari, M., Barbato, M., Talenti, A., Bionda, A., Carta, A., Ciampolini, R., Ciani, E., Crisà, A., Frattini, S., Lasagna, E., Marletta, D., Mastrangelo, S., Negro, A., Randi, E., Sarti, F.M., Sartore, S., Soglia, D., Liotta, L., Stella, A., Ajmone-Marsan, P., Pilla, F., Colli, L., Crepaldi, P., 2021. The climatic and genetic heritage of Italian goat breeds with genomic SNP data. Sci. Rep. 11, 10986.