2009-Cronin_et_al - Genetic variation in domestic and wild...

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M. A. Cronin, L. A. Renecker and J. C. Patton ) Cervus elaphus Genetic variation in domestic and wild elk ( doi: 10.2527/jas.2008-1185 originally published online October 24, 2008 2009, 87:829-834. J ANIM SCI http://jas.fass.org/content/87/3/829 the World Wide Web at: The online version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located on www.asas.org by guest on October 11, 2011 jas.fass.org Downloaded from
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ABSTRACT: Elk ( Cervus elaphus ) have recently been established as domestic livestock derived from ex- tant wild populations and may provide insights into changes in genetic variation during domestication. We compared genetic variation at 10 microsatellite DNA loci and the mitochondrial DNA D-loop in 2 herds of domestic elk in Alaska and Canada and wild elk from 8 locations in western North America and Asia. Av- erage individual heterozygosity was 0.55 in domestic elk and 0.47 in wild elk, average number of alleles per locus was 4.1 in domestic elk and 3.9 in wild elk, and 4 mitochondrial DNA haplotypes were observed in do- mestic elk and 3 in wild elk. Levels of genetic variation were not significantly different among the domestic elk and wild elk we analyzed. Our results are consistent with other studies showing that genetic variation can be maintained in domestic and wild populations of elk and other deer with appropriate management. Key words: Cervus elaphus , domestic elk, genetic variation, microsatellite deoxyribonucleic acid, mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid ©2009 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved. J. Anim. Sci. 2009. 87:829–834 doi:10.2527/jas.2008-1185 INTRODUCTION Domestication of animals has the potential to de- crease genetic variation relative to wild progenitors because of founder effects, genetic drift, and selection in populations with small effective sizes. Genetic varia- tion is important to maintain fitness and adaptive po- tential in domestic and wild populations (Ralls et al., 1979; Falconer, 1989; Mitton, 1993). However, several domestic animal species have levels of genetic variation comparable to wild relatives, probably resulting from multiple sources of founding stock, recent mutation, and other factors (Bruford et al., 2003; Goodrich and Wiener, 2005). Traditional domestic animals (cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, chickens, dogs) have been do- mesticated for millennia (MacHugh and Bradley, 2001; Bruford et al., 2003) and genetic variation has been maintained within and among breeds and geographic locations (MacHugh et al., 1997; Luikart et al., 2001; Meadows et al., 2005; Al-Nasser et al., 2007). Members of the deer family (Cervidae) are not tra- ditional livestock in North America, although reindeer ( Rangifer tarandus ) have been domesticated for thou- sands of years in northern Asia, Russia, and Scandi- navia (Baskin, 1989; Staalannd and Eikelmann, 1991). Other deer species have been managed as domestic
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2009-Cronin_et_al - Genetic variation in domestic and wild...

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