Simple Summary Livestock biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate. It is mainly due to genetic selection for desirable traits and the standardization of productions, but this has determined a dramatic reduction in intra- and inter-breed genetic variability. Autochthonous breeds represent a pivotal genetic resource thanks to their environment-specific adaptive features, especially related to rusticity, frugality, fertility, and longevity. In this context, it is of fundamental importance to deepen the knowledge about these breeds' physiology and to take care of their health in the optic of conservation strategies. This study established hematological reference values in female goats of a cosmopolitan (i.e., Camosciata delle Alpi) and an Italian autochthonous (i.e., Verzaschese) breed reared in the same conditions. The influence of breed, age, and season on the hematological parameters was also investigated. The results have shown that variation due to breed, age, and season in blood parameters could be attributed both to physiological changes, such as the ones given by ageing and melatonin effect, and to adaptive genetic processes, for example, towards gastrointestinal parasitism. These findings can be helpful to provide evidence of the importance of recovering endangered/rare local breeds, which are a fundamental heritage for agricultural biodiversity, and local culture. Local livestock breeds are pivotal to ensure sustainable agriculture and represent a real genetic resource in the context of genetic variability reduction. This study aimed at broadening the knowledge about hematological values in female Verzaschese and Camosciata delle Alpi goats (an Italian local and a cosmopolitan goat breed, respectively) and investigating factors affecting them (i.e., breed, age, season). Blood samples were collected monthly from 34 Verzaschese and 37 Camosciata delle Alpi female goats kept under the same semi-extensive farming system for a whole year. The main hematological parameters were evaluated, and descriptive as well as inferential statistical analyses were performed. Reference intervals for complete blood cell count were established and several inter-breed differences were found. In particular, most of the red blood cell parameters were higher in Verzaschese than Camosciata delle Alpi (p < 0.05) suggesting a greater gastrointestinal parasites' resilience of the local breed. The age effect (p < 0.05) was consistent with the literature while the season effect (p < 0.05) could be explained by the melatonin immunostimulant action and gastrointestinal parasitism influence. Overall, differences in blood values could be attributed to physiological changes and adaptive strategies developed through centuries highlighting the remarkable rusticity and adaptation to the environment and farming system of the local breed.

Comparison of Female Verzaschese and Camosciata delle Alpi Goats' Hematological Parameters in The Context of Adaptation to Local Environmental Conditions in Semi-Extensive Systems in Italy

Menchetti, Laura;Brecchia, Gabriele;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Simple Summary Livestock biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate. It is mainly due to genetic selection for desirable traits and the standardization of productions, but this has determined a dramatic reduction in intra- and inter-breed genetic variability. Autochthonous breeds represent a pivotal genetic resource thanks to their environment-specific adaptive features, especially related to rusticity, frugality, fertility, and longevity. In this context, it is of fundamental importance to deepen the knowledge about these breeds' physiology and to take care of their health in the optic of conservation strategies. This study established hematological reference values in female goats of a cosmopolitan (i.e., Camosciata delle Alpi) and an Italian autochthonous (i.e., Verzaschese) breed reared in the same conditions. The influence of breed, age, and season on the hematological parameters was also investigated. The results have shown that variation due to breed, age, and season in blood parameters could be attributed both to physiological changes, such as the ones given by ageing and melatonin effect, and to adaptive genetic processes, for example, towards gastrointestinal parasitism. These findings can be helpful to provide evidence of the importance of recovering endangered/rare local breeds, which are a fundamental heritage for agricultural biodiversity, and local culture. Local livestock breeds are pivotal to ensure sustainable agriculture and represent a real genetic resource in the context of genetic variability reduction. This study aimed at broadening the knowledge about hematological values in female Verzaschese and Camosciata delle Alpi goats (an Italian local and a cosmopolitan goat breed, respectively) and investigating factors affecting them (i.e., breed, age, season). Blood samples were collected monthly from 34 Verzaschese and 37 Camosciata delle Alpi female goats kept under the same semi-extensive farming system for a whole year. The main hematological parameters were evaluated, and descriptive as well as inferential statistical analyses were performed. Reference intervals for complete blood cell count were established and several inter-breed differences were found. In particular, most of the red blood cell parameters were higher in Verzaschese than Camosciata delle Alpi (p < 0.05) suggesting a greater gastrointestinal parasites' resilience of the local breed. The age effect (p < 0.05) was consistent with the literature while the season effect (p < 0.05) could be explained by the melatonin immunostimulant action and gastrointestinal parasitism influence. Overall, differences in blood values could be attributed to physiological changes and adaptive strategies developed through centuries highlighting the remarkable rusticity and adaptation to the environment and farming system of the local breed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/468746
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