Reggiana and Modenese are autochthonous cattle breeds, reared in the North of Italy, that can be mainly distinguished for their standard coat color (Reggiana is red, whereas Modenese is white with some pale gray shades). Almost all milk produced by these breeds is transformed into 2 mono-breed branded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, from which farmers receive the economic incomes needed for the sustainable conservation of these animal genetic resources. After the setting up of their herd books in 1960s, these breeds experienced a strong reduction in the population size that was subsequently reverted starting in the 1990s (Reggiana) or more recently (Modenese) reaching at present a total of about 2,800 and 500 registered cows, respectively. Due to the small population size of these breeds, inbreeding is a very important cause of concern for their conservation programs. Inbreeding is traditionally estimated using pedigree data, which are summarized in an inbreeding coefficient calculated at...

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