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Genetic purging in mammalian populations
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology. Uppsala univeristy. (Katerina Guschanski)
(Tomas Marques-Bonet)
(Tomas Marques-Bonet)
(Katerina Guschanski)
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-383459OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-383459DiVA, id: diva2:1316025
Available from: 2019-05-15 Created: 2019-05-15 Last updated: 2019-06-04
In thesis
1. Genomics of population decline
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Genomics of population decline
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With human populations forecasted to grow in the next decades, many mammals face increasing anthropogenic threats. The consequential population declines are a precursor to extinctions, as small populations are not only more sensitive to stochastic events, but reduction in population size is generally also followed by a decrease in genetic diversity, which in turn reduces adaptive potential and fitness of the population. By using molecular methods I aimed to estimate the magnitude of the genomic consequences as a result of rapid population declines with a focus on the endangered eastern gorillas. First, I genotyped Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) faecal samples, which revealed lower genetic diversity and high differentiation in the peripheral compared to the central populations, indicating a strong effect of genetic drift and limited gene flow among the small, isolated forest fragments (Chapter 1). Next, by using a target capture approach I obtained complete mitochondrial genomes from degraded Grauer’s and mountain (Gorilla beringei beringei) gorilla faecal and museum samples (Chapter 2) which showed a loss of mitochondrial diversity within the last century in Grauer’s gorillas, mainly driven by the extinction of peripheral populations (Chapter 3). Genome-wide sequence data from historical samples suggests that this loss has also affected the nuclear genome, as modern Grauer’s gorillas carry on average more genetic variants with putatively negative fitness consequences than historically. No significant temporal changes were observed in the closely related mountain gorillas, which might be due to their contrasting demographic history (Chapter 4). I then switched study species to the endangered Dryas monkey and find that, despite its possible small population size, the current Dryas monkey population is genetically diverse with low levels of inbreeding and as such likely viable in the long-term if appropriate conservation measures are taken (Chapter 5). Finally, I aimed to estimate the strength of genetic purging across a range of mammalian species. This revealed that although genetic purging might be common among endangered species, it mainly acts on long evolutionary time scales with limited strength during the rapid population declines as experienced by many species today (Chapter 6).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 57
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1822
Keywords
genetic diversity, minimal-invasive samples, population decline, inbreeding, genetic purging, eastern gorillas, Dryas monkey
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-384346 (URN)978-91-513-0684-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-06, Lindahlsalen, Norbyvägen 18, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-08-16 Created: 2019-06-04 Last updated: 2019-09-17

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