Genetic relationships between captive populations of red junglefown (Gallus gallus) determined by microsatellite analysis - possible implications for conservation
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Animals are often kept in captivity for conservation purposes. However, maintenance in captivity can affect the animals by, for example, altered selection pressures, adaptations to the captive environment and loss of genetic variation. This may cause behavioural modifications which could explain some of the difficulty which reintroductions have encountered in the past. The aim of the present study was to examine the genetic relationships between four captive populations of red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) which have been shown to behave differently in test situations (Håkansson and Jensen, 2005). We also intended to explore possible correlations between genetic relationships and the behavioural differences found. For this investigation, we used 21 microsatellite markers distributed throughout the genome. In accordance with our hypothesis, the results showed that the populations were genetically differentiated. For example, across all populations, FST equalled to 0.304 which indicates strong population differentiation and in the assignment test, all individuals were correctly assigned to their population of origin. Regarding genetic variation, it was evident that the populations had lost a considerable amount of their assumed original genetic variation. Genetic diversity within populations as measured by He spanned from 0.34 to 0.48. Interestingly, the ranking of genetic variation within each population followed the same pattern as the ranking of behavioural variation. The study indicates that keeping animals in captivity can lead to major changes in genotype and behaviour even though the motive is maintenance rather than domestication. This may affect the animals' ability to cope with new situations and these issues are therefore very important to consider when breeding animals in captivity for conservation purposes.
Conservation breeding, Gallus gallus, Genetic differentiation, Microsatellites, Red junglefowl
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100401OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-100401DiVA: diva2:662185