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Conservation implications of limited genetic diversity and population structure in Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii)

Citation

Hendricks, S and Epstein, B and Schonfeld, B and Wiench, C and Hamede, R and Jones, M and Storfer, A and Hohenlohe, P, Conservation implications of limited genetic diversity and population structure in Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii), Conservation Genetics pp. 1-6. ISSN 1566-0621 (In Press) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1007/s10592-017-0939-5

Abstract

Tasmanian devils face a combination of threats to persistence, including devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), an epidemic transmissible cancer. We used RAD sequencing to investigate genome-wide patterns of genetic diversity and geographic population structure. Consistent with previous results, we found very low genetic diversity in the species as a whole, and we detected two broad genetic clusters occupying the northwestern portion of the range, and the central and eastern portions. However, these two groups overlap across a broad geographic area, and differentiation between them is modest (FST = 0.1081). Our results refine the geographic extent of the zone of mixed ancestry and substructure within it, potentially informing management of genetic variation that existed in pre-diseased populations of the species. DFTD has spread across both genetic clusters, but recent evidence points to a genomic response to selection imposed by DFTD. Any allelic variation for resistance to DFTD may be able to spread across the devil population under selection by DFTD, and/or be present as standing variation in both genetic regions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:conservation genomics, devil facial tumor disease, gene flow, population bottlenecks, RAD sequencing, transmissible cancer
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Conservation and Biodiversity
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Objective Field:Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
Author:Schonfeld, B (Dr Barbara Schonfeld)
Author:Hamede, R (Mr Rodrigo Hamede Ross)
Author:Jones, M (Associate Professor Menna Jones)
ID Code:116758
Year Published:In Press
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2017-05-19
Last Modified:2017-05-19
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