Genetic diversity, population size

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Soil + Crop Sciences
SOCR 330
Sarah Ward

30 November Conservation Genetics Application of population genetics to understanding Why a population declines What happens to the genetics of an endangered species How threatened and endangered species can be better managed and restored Loss of Genetic Diversity Interspecific diversity Different species within an ecosystem Intraspecific diversity Different genotypes within a species Different alleles within the gene pool Loss of genetic diversity reduces future chances of species survival Why is Genetic Diversity Important? Provides buffer against disease, adverse environmental conditions Enables populations/species to adapt and survive long term environmental changes Allelic diversity/heterozygosity linked to health and fertility in many species California Condor Reduced to 9 birds by 1987 when remaining individuals captured for breeding program Reintroduction started 1992 In 2004 there were 99 wild condors and 147 in captivity Chondrodystropy (autosomal recessive allele causing lethal dwarfism) present at 0.09 in gene pool Black-Footed Ferret Thought extinct by 1970 Small colony discovered in Wyoming in 1981 – almost wiped out by canine distemper in 1985 18 surviving ferrets transferred to captive breeding program Now over 3000 ferrets and reintroduction in progress All existing ferrets equivalent of full cousins: share 12% of genome in common Severe genetic bottleneck → future pro
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