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Wolf or dog? Genetic identification of predator from saliva collected around bite wounds on prey
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology.
2008 (English)In: Conservation Genetics, ISSN 1566-0621, E-ISSN 1572-9737, Vol. 9, no 5, 1275-1279 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wolf predation on livestock is a management problem in many areas and is often used to justify control measures against the wolves. However, wolves coexist with dogs across their range, and dogs could be responsible for attacks blamed on wolves. In this study we evaluate the possibility of obtaining sufficient DNA for species identification of the predator from saliva remaining close to bite wounds following a canid attack. Predator DNA of reasonably high quality was successfully extracted from bite wounds on two sheep that had been attacked on a farm and were genotyped using six informative microsatellite markers. A single consensus genotype could be constructed from the bite wounds of both sheep which we compared to genotypes obtained from Scandinavian wolves and dogs. The results clearly showed that the saliva sampled originated from a single dog. This report thus demonstrates the feasibility of predator species identification from bite wounds and also illustrates that it can not be taken for granted that wolves are responsible for canid livestock kills.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 9, no 5, 1275-1279 p.
Keyword [en]
predation, wolves, microsatellites, non-invasive genotyping
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96622DOI: 10.1007/s10592-007-9454-4ISI: 000259195400017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96622DiVA: diva2:171260
Available from: 2008-01-16 Created: 2008-01-16 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Conservation Genetics of Wolves and their Relationship with Dogs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conservation Genetics of Wolves and their Relationship with Dogs
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Management of wolves is a complex issue, and molecular genetics is an important tool in this work. Molecular genetics can provide important information at the species, population and individual level, which can be essential for the development of management programs aiming at the long term survival of wolf populations.

In this thesis I developed new genetic markers on the canine Y chromosome to estimate the number of founders of the Scandinavian wolf population. This knowledge is important to reconstruct the history of the population and to design the most appropriate conservation strategies. Next, genetic markers with different pattern of inheritance have been used to identify hybrids between wolves and dogs. This allowed us to determine the direction of hybridization and to evaluate its possible impact on the gene pool of a wolf population. Furthermore, I also developed a method for a more reliable identification of the predator responsible of an attack by using saliva remains left on the prey. Since predation on livestock is perhaps the main reason for the negative opinions about the predator, the correct identification of the responsible for an attack (wolf, dog or hybrid) is essential.

Finally, this thesis has also been focusing on the domestication of dogs. By using Y chromosome markers (paternally inherited), it has been possible to complement previous studies based on mtDNA sequences (maternally inherited) and autosomal markers (inherited from both parents). In this way I have obtained a more complete picture of the domestication process and of the origin of breeds. This has shown that there has been a bias in the contribution of the two sexes in the origin of dog breeds (fewer males then females contributing to each breed) and that the origin of dogs was not marked by extensive backcrosses with male wolves over the entire species range.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2008. 47 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 384
Keyword
Molecular genetics, mtDNA, Y chromosome, microsatellites, breed, hybridization, domestication, introgression, predation, Genetik, Canis lupus, Canis familiaris
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8401 (URN)978-91-554-7064-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-02-08, Zootissalen, EBC, Villavägen9, Uppsala, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-01-16 Created: 2008-01-16Bibliographically approved

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Ellegren, Hans

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