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consgenetmurray - CONSERVATION GENETICS READINGS: FREEMAN,...

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CONSERVATION GENETICS READINGS: FREEMAN, 2005 Chapter 52 1206-1210 Chapter 54 Pages 1272-1277
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GENETIC DIVERSITY The diversity of life is fundamentally genetic. A variety of genetic methods have been used to investigate diversity both within and between species. Here are a few: 1. Morphological variation -- a good clue, but does not correlate perfectly with genetics; 2. Chromosomal variation -- inversions, translocations and polyploidy; 3. Soluble proteins -- blood groups, soluble enzyme polymorphism’s; 4. DNA markers -- microsatellites, “fingerprint” loci.
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CONSERVATION OF GENETIC VARIATION The foundation of diversity is the process of natural selection shaping genetic variation. When genetic variation is absent (zero heterozygosity), the population (or species) has limited evolutionary potential and the risk of extinction is high. The conservation of genetic variation provides a hedge against extinction.
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An Endangered Species: Red Wolf This canine family member was once found in the southeast. It disappeared in the wild by the late 1970s. Reintroduced into Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1990’s.
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An Endangered Species: Red Wolf Examination of DNA demonstrated that the red wolf is a hybrid between gray wolf and coyote. Expansion of coyote range and shrinking of gray wolf range resulted in gene swamping of red wolf genes by coyote genes.
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An Endangered Species: Cheetah A species that shows a very low level of genetic variation. May have experienced a genetic bottleneck near the end of the last ice age (10,000 - 12,000 years ago) when many other mammal species became extinct. Low genetic variation in “fingerprint” loci compared to other cat species.
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Population Size and Extinction Risk Populations are subject to chance or sampling error in getting alleles from one generation to the next (genetic drift, genetic bottlenecks, founder effects). Populations are subject reduction in gene flow and gene swamping. Small populations are particularly vulnerable to extinction due to reduction in genetic variation (heterozygosity).
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Conservation genetics is an area of study that determines genetic variation and the processes that diminish it. Heterozygosity is a measure of genetic variation. Processes that diminish heterozygosity,
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consgenetmurray - CONSERVATION GENETICS READINGS: FREEMAN,...

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