eCite Digital Repository

Influence of genetic provenance and birth origin on productivity of the Tasmanian devil insurance population


Hogg, CJ and Ivy, JA and Srb, C and Hockley, J and Lees, C and Hibbard, C and Jones, M, Influence of genetic provenance and birth origin on productivity of the Tasmanian devil insurance population, Conservation Genetics, 16, (6) pp. 1465-1473. ISSN 1566-0621 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10592-015-0754-9


An insurance population for the critically endangered Tasmanian devil was established in 2006. Due to successful captive breeding, the population has reached its carrying capacity of 600 devils and retains 99.95% of founding gene diversity. Although reproduction has been quite successful, possible relatedness among founding individuals, influences of genetic provenance and pairing success on female productivity were evaluated to further refine insurance population management. Ten polymorphic microsatellite markers were used to assess the founders. Although the data were ultimately insufficient for determining specific founder relationships, a STRUCTURE analysis determined founders to be of eastern or western provenance. Western provenance animals had an observed heterozygosity of 0.38; while eastern provenance was 0.41. Allelic frequencies between the two provenances were similar. Although differences in pairing success of eastern and western provenance animals were noted, there was no difference in overall productivity (number of joeys/female). Cross-provenance pairings were not as successful as W-W but had similar productivity, and produced viable offspring. Birth origin (wild-born vs. zoo-born) had no influence on pairing success but wild-born females produce significantly more joeys/female. For zoo-born females, the number of joeys produced per female had a downward trend between respective generations in captivity. Current and future population managers should be aware of potential reductions in productivity across captive generations and adjust breeding recommendations accordingly. The ability to recruit founders from diseased females, along with a better understanding of the influence of genetic provenance and birth origin on productivity, has led to changes in acquisition of future founders for this insurance population.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Tasmanian devil, insurance population, population management, microsatellites, productivity
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Genetics not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Jones, M (Professor Menna Jones)
ID Code:106615
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-02-16
Last Modified:2017-10-31

Repository Staff Only: item control page