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Flashcards in Lecture 20 Deck (11):

Conservation biologists have two challenges:

- Which ones are boys, which ones are girls?
- How related are they?


To determine sex for each bird:

- Use a W-chomosome marker (2 bands girl, one band boy)


Screen micro satellite markers for each bird:

- Determine relatedness based on microsatellite data
- Negative result means they are the least related


Based on this data we can select the least related pairs to breed:

- A breeding program is designed to minimise inbreeding


Genetic rescue of the Florida panther (Puma concolour coryi):

- At brink of extinction in 1995 (Nc = 26)
- Low genetic diversity based on microsatellite data
- Many signs of inbreeding depression (kinked tails, poor semen quality, many parasites


How did they avoid extinction?

- Introduced 8 female cougars from Texas into the population of 26 individuals


What was the result of the introduced females?

- They thrived!
- Monitoring of the population showed great admixture of genetic material


What did they use as the genetic markers to monitor the cat populations?

- They used simple tandem repeats (STR) from the cat genome project


How effective was the program?

- The number of individuals from 26 to 102.
- The effective population has doubled
- Kinked tails and testicle problem dropped significantly
- The heterozygosity increased a lot!


Genetic rescue of Scandinavian grey wolf (Canis lupus):

- Mitochondrial (MtDNA) marker (female tracking)
- Y-chromosome marker (male tracking)
- Nuclear markers (SSRs)
- One male immigrant increased the population size a lot and also increased the level of heterozygosity


The giant panda genome:

- All genes regquired for carnivirous digestion are present but they don't eat it
- Non-functional T1R1 gene due to frameshift error, unable to form T1R1/T1R3 hterodimer receptor, so unable to taste glutamic acids explaining their lack of interest in meat
- Could we make them eat meat again?
- Absense of genes for digesting cellulose (bamboo), which is all they eat
- Test gut microbiome
- High level of heterozygosity, no lack of genetic diversity