Periodic noninvasive genetic surveys have been conducted for the endangered mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, Sarambwe Nature Reserve, DRC, and Virunga National Park, Rwanda since 1990s. The most recent survey was conducted in 2018. Over 1800 fecal samples were collected and genotyped with 11 microsatellite markers. However, microsatellites have several drawbacks. For example, their PCR artifacts can interfere with automated allele calling and the manual genotype calling requires large amount of effort and time. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) offer an alternative to microsatellites for future surveys of mountain gorillas. In this study, we assessed 131 candidate SNP markers selected from whole genome sequence data and genotyped 561 fecal samples with a subset of these markers using microfluidic SNP arrays (Fluidigm). Of these markers, we selected 70 SNPs that had high call rates and low genotyping error rates to recommend for future surveys. The combined probability of identity of siblings based on the 70 SNPs was 10 million-fold greater than the 11 microsatellite markers currently in use. Therefore, this set of SNPs was a reliable alternative genetic tool that can be used in the future for individual identification and monitoring of mountain gorillas.
|Commitee:||Finno, Carrie, Dickover, Ruth|
|School:||University of California, Davis|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 82/5(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Genetics, Veterinary services|
|Keywords:||Conservation genetics, Feces, Microsatellite, Mountain gorilla, Probability of identity, Single nucleotide Polymorphism|
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