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Genetic relationships between captive populations of red junglefown (Gallus gallus) determined by microsatellite analysis - possible implications for conservation
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Uppsala Univ., Uppsala, Sweden.
Uppsala Univ., Uppsala, Sweden.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Keyword [en]
Conservation breeding, Gallus gallus, Genetic differentiation, Microsatellites, Red junglefowl
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100401OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-100401DiVA: diva2:662185
Available from: 2013-11-06 Created: 2013-11-06 Last updated: 2013-11-06
In thesis
1. Behavioural differences and genetic relationships between four captive populations of red junglefowl (Gallus gallus): possible implications for conservation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Behavioural differences and genetic relationships between four captive populations of red junglefowl (Gallus gallus): possible implications for conservation
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Conservation of species is to a large extent carried out by zoos where animals are kept in small populations under protected conditions. The ultimate goal of such ex situ conservation programs is to eventually reintroduce the animals into natural habitats to provide support for the survival of the species. However, reintroduction has encountered considerable difficulty in the past, often due to behavioural deficiencies. Maintaining animals in captivity may lead to behavioural modifications as a result of adaptation to the captive environment, altered selection pressures and loss of genetic variation. The overall aim of this thesis was to study behavioural and genetic aspects of ex situ conservation and investigate whether maintenance of smal1 populations in captivity causes modifications which can affect the survival and reproduction capacity of the animals in a hypothetical reintroduction situation. Throughout the project the red junglefowl (Callus gallus) is used as a model for ex situ conservation populations. In Paper I, the behavioural variation between four captive populations of red junglefowl was studied. The birds were tested in different test situations; anti-predatory behaviour test, social behaviour test and exploratory and sociality test. The results showed clear behavioural differences between the populations, some of which are relevant from a conservation perspective. In Paper 11, the genetic relationships between the populations were examined by microsatellite analysis and possible correlations with the results of Paper I were investigated. The results showed that the populations were genetically differentiated and that all populations had lost a considerable amount of their assumed original genetic variation. Furthermore, the genetic variation of each population fo11owed the same pattern as behavioural variation ranks. The populations which had the highest genetic variation were also the ones showing the most behavioural variation in most behavioural variables. The results of Papers I and II imply that maintenance in captivity can affect an animal behaviourally as well as genetically. Even though the red junglefowl is merely used as a model here, the studies suggest that these issues are important to consider also in species where reintroduction is a more central motive for keeping the animals in captivity.

Abstract [sv]

Bevarande av utrotningshotade djur sker idag i stor utsträckning i samarbete med djurparker. Målet med sådana s.k. ex situ-bevarandeprogram är att så småningom återintroducera djur till naturen för att skydda arten från utrotning. Återintroduktioner har dock visat sig vara problematiska i många fall. Att hålla djur i fångenskap kan leda till beteendemässiga förändringar till följd av anpassning till den skyddade miljön, förändrade selektionstryck och förlust av genetisk variation. Detta skulle kunna förklara en del av de misslyckade återintroduktionerna och för att bevarandeprogrammen ska bli effektivare krävs mer kunskap om vad som sker när djur placeras fångenskap. Det övergripande syftet med den här studien var därför att undersöka beteendemässiga och genetiska aspekter på ex situ-bevarande samt att utreda om hållandet av små djurpopulationer i fångenskap kan leda till förändringar som kan påverka framgången av en återintroducering. Röda djungelhöns (Gallus gallus) användes som modell för att kunna undersöka detta. I artikel I studerades beteendeskillnader mellan fyra populationer av röda djungelhöns. Hönsen studerades i olika testsituationer för att mäta antipredatorbeteende, socialt beteende och utforskningsbeteende. Resultaten visade klara skillnader i beteende mellan de olika populationerna och flera av dessa är relevanta utifrån ett bevarandeperspektiv. I artikel II analyserades det genetiska förhållandet mellan populationerna med hjälp av mikrosatellitmarkörer och möjliga samband med resultaten från artikel I undersöktes. Resultaten visade att populationerna var genetiskt differentierade och att de inom varje population hade förlorat en stor del av sin ursprungliga genetiska diversitet. När resultaten från de två artiklarna jämfördes visade det sig dessutom att den genetiska diversiteten följde samma mönster som rankingen av beteendemässig variation. De populationer med mest genetisk variation var också de som visade mest beteendemässig variation. Resultaten från artikel I och II antyder att hållande av djur i exempelvis djurparker kan påverka djuren både beteendemässigt och genetiskt. Röda djungelhöns användes här som en modell men resultaten tyder på att det här är viktigt att tänka på även hos arter där återintroducering är ett mer centralt motiv för att hålla djuren i fångenskap.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2005. 32 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1157
Keyword
Red junglefowl, behavioural differences, genetic relationships, captive populations
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-30345 (URN)LIU-TEK-LIC-2005:12 (ISRN)15882 (Local ID)91-85297-92-5 (ISBN)15882 (Archive number)15882 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-11-06

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