Conserving Genetic Diversity
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Conserving Genetic Diversity. DNA arranged in discrete packages called Chromosomes. Units of Genetic Diversity . Individual portions of a chromosome that “code” for a specific character are known as Genes. Allele A1. Allele A2. Allele A3. Character E1. Character

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DNA arranged in discrete packages called Chromosomes

Units of Genetic Diversity

Individual portions of a chromosome that “code” for a specific character are known as Genes


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Allele

A1

Allele

A2

Allele

A3

Character

E1

Character

E2

Character

E 3

Alleles= alternate forms of a gene’s expression

Gene

A

Character

E


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A1

A1

A1

A2

Alleles on paired chromosomes

Homozygous

Heterozygous


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Gene Pool of a Population

Gene Pool = the complete genetic make up of a population

Genes

A 5 alleles **

T 3 alleles **

C 1 allele

D 1 allele

E 1 allele

Polymorphism =

number of multiple allele genes divided by the total number of genes =

2/5 = 40%


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For Example: suppose that the gene (T) controlling tail length has 3 different alleles

T1 = codes for a tail that is 50 cm in length

T2 = codes for a tail that is 100 cm in length

T3 = codes for a tail that is 150 cm in length

Now suppose that due to random chance all three tail lengths are equally likely to occur.

Thus, out of a population of 102 individuals, there will be roughly 34 individuals possessing each of the 3 different tail lengths


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Now let’s look at the genetic make-up of individual organisms

Remember- chromosomes are paired

5 Individual Organisms

1. T1/T1

2. T2/T3 **

3. T1/T3 **

4. T2/T1 **

5. T2/T2

Heterozygosity=

the number of individuals who have different alleles in each pair of genes divided by the total number of individuals =

3/5 = 60%


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Introducing the Concept of Dominant and Recessive Alleles organisms

Our tail length example is not quite so simple - suppose that when T1 and T2 are paired (e.g. the formula is T1/T2 or T2/T1) the tail length is always 50 cm .

That means that T1 is dominant over T2

What if T1 is also dominant over T3?

What if T2 is also dominant over T3?


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Given the following allele formulas, you provide the tail length of the individual

Formula

Tail Length

T1/T1

50 cm

T1/T3

50 cm

T1/T2

50 cm

T3/T3

150 cm

T2/T3

100 cm

50 cm

T2/T1


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How can we get the following tail lengths? length of the individual

50 cm

T1/T1,T1/T2, T1/T3, T2/T1, T3/T1

100 cm

T2/T2,T2/T3, T3/T2

150 cm

T3/T3

Heterozygous

Homozygous


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Concept of a Genetic Bottleneck length of the individual

Forelimb alleles; A, a, C, c, E, e

Uppercase dominant, lower case recessive

Tail alleles; B, b, D, d, F, f


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Genetic Bottleneck length of the individual

Note: none of the elephant seals with alleles C, c, D, d, E, e, F, or f make it through the bottleneck


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Concept of Founder Effect length of the individual

Founders = those individuals from a population that either disperse to another location or survive some type of disturbance to its current location.

Due to chance alone, the founders are usually less genetically diverse than the source population as a whole


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Concept of Founder Effect length of the individual

Okapi, the African Forest Antelope

Zoo populations consisted of 75 wild caught individuals

Of those, only 30 have bred, producing 23 living offspring

But the resulting genetic structure was equivalent to only 12 wild individuals!!


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Mauritius Kestrel length of the individual

(Falco punctatus)

A 1973 survey by International Council for Bird Preservation located 8 wild kestrels

By the 1974 breeding season there were two birds in captivity and four others known in the wild


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Causes of the Population Decline length of the individual

Habitat Loss due to cutting of the forest by French Colonists

Pesticide poisoning

Egg predation by monkeys, rats and mongoose

“Varmint” shooting- alleged attacks on local chicken population

named “Mangeur des poules” by locals


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In the book “The Sinking Ark”, Norman Myers states that, we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

1. Those so badly wounded that they can’t be helped

2. Those wounded slightly that don’t require help

3. Those whose wounds can be treated, resulting in survival

Specifically, mentions the Mauritius Kestrel as a Category 1 species


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Aspects of a captive breeding program for Mauritius Kestrels we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

1. Supplemental feeding of wild birds with uncontaminated meat. Result, the females “double-clutched”

2. “Pulling” of eggs. Result, clutch size was increased to eight

3. “Hacking” - the gradual weaning of captive young from human helpers. Result, young raised by humans able to successfully compete in the wild

4. Artificial insemination of captive females. Result, increased female fertility rates


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Field Aspects of a Conservation Program we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

1. Natural reserves. Result, the setting aside of a small amount of “human free” habitat leading to increase survival of adults and young.

2. Predator control. Result, reduction in egg, juvenile and adult mortality

3. Public education. Result, reduction in adult mortality due to “varmint” hunting


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Mauritius Kestrel we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

(Falco punctatus)

“If you can save the Mauritius Kestrel, you can save virtually anything.”

By 1990, two hundred captive breed Kestrels had been successfully re-introduced to the Mauritius Islands.


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Concept of Genetic Drift we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

Random fluctuations in the frequency of an allele due to accidents that affect the survival and reproduction of individuals.

Directly related to the number of individuals in the population possessing the allele

Has the greatest effect on uncommon alleles.


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A3 we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

A1

A2

50

40

30

20

10

% of total alleles in the popu-lation

5 10 15 20

Number of generations


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Concept of Inbreeding Depression we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

Inbreeding = mating of closely related individuals

Cheetah: the “victim” of two genetic bottlenecks

Inbreeding depression = poor survival or production in populations where closely related individuals mate

Often, the result of inbreeding depression is an increase of homozygous recessive traits that are deleterious


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Concept of Out-breeding Depression we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

“Hybrid” offspring of individuals from populations (geographic isolates) adapted to different environments

Peregrine Falcon

For example, individuals from an easternmigratory population, adapted to harsh winters, breed and produce offspring with mates from a coastal non-migratory western population, adapted for mild winters and early springs


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1 we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

9

4

5-8

2

3

Oryx distribu-tion in Africa consists of 9 non-overlapping populations comprising 4 species


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Ibex - related to the Mountain Goat of North America we should take a “Triage” approach to species preservation.

Occurs in many sub-populations, comprising at least 3 species throughout Europe and Asia


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The resulting young were born in midwinter, resulting in high mortality and eventual extinction of the introduced population

Introduction of individuals from two “foreign” subspecies into the Tatry Mountains of Slovakia and Poland


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