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PCR-rapid analysis of DNA diversity in selected Natal Zebra populations

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dc.contributor.author Bishop KS en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T10:16:21Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T10:16:21Z
dc.date.submitted 1997 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/82126
dc.description.abstract The aim of the project was to assess DNA diversity in plains zebra "(Equus quagga antiquorum)" from four Natal Parks Board (NPB) reserves: Umfolozi Game Reserve (UMF), Albert Falls (AFNR), Vernon Crookes (VCNR) and Harold Johnson (HJNR) Nature Reserves, using the technique PCR-RAPDs. Of particular interest was the effect of isolating small populations of zebra (AFNR, VCNR, HJNR) from the larger base population at Umfolozi Game Reserve. Blood samples were collected from 70 zebra derived from the four populations. DNA was isolated using standard methods, after which each sample was PCR- amplified using 11 random decamer primers. Amplified fragments were visualised on ethidium bromide-stained agarose electrophoretic gels. Banding patterns were scored manually. An average of ten bands per primer were scored. Percentage polymorphism was calculated for each population and found to be significantly different from each other (using a G-test). HJNR had the lowest percentage polymorphism, followed by AFNR and VCNR, which correlate with their respective increase in population size. The computer program NTSYS was used to generate phenograms based on percentage similarity between populations and individuals. The smallest population (HJNR) has the lowest percentage similarity and hence is the most dissimilar to the base population at UMF. The phenogram used to reveal between-individual similarity clearly showed that individuals from the population at HJNR clustered together while individuals from the other reserves showed no discontinuity. Information obtained from PCR-RAPD analysis was compared to that predicted by population genetic modelling studies (using the computer program Vortex) carried out by the Natal Parks Board: the percentage loss of polymorphism calculated from the PCR-RAPD study was positively correlated to the loss of heterozygosity predicted by Population Viability Analysis (Vortex). One of the aims of the study was to facilitate the introduction of genetic analysis to the management of zebra populations in NPB reserves. The technique of PCR-RAPDs has been successfully applied to a conservation management problem and has revealed levels of polymorphism, lost due to the isolation of small populations as well as to the small number of founder members, that correlate positively to that predicted with the use of population modelling (Vortex). Recommendations regarding the frequency and number of zebra translocations have been made by the NPB, and were based on both PCR-RAPD analysis and population modelling. It was recommended that a harem be translocated every five years for a population the size of HJNR (9), while for a population the size of VCNR (110) translocations should take place every fifteen years if heterozygosity is to be maintained within the population (A. Bowland, pers. comm.). Effective genetic management should improve long-term survival of zebra via reduction in inbreeding depression and the maintenance of adaptive DNA variation. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject Zoology en
dc.subject Warm-blooded vertebrates: Class Mammalia en
dc.title PCR-rapid analysis of DNA diversity in selected Natal Zebra populations en
dc.type Masters degree en
dc.description.degree MSc en

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