Title

DETERMINING BIGHORN SHEEP MATERNITY WITH MOLECULAR GENETIC TECHNIQUES: A POTENTIAL TOOL IN THE EXPLORATION OF PNEUMONIA OUTBREAKS

Presenter Information

Mariah Childs

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Pneumonia epidemics are responsible for local population die-offs in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) throughout the western United States. One reason pneumonia has such a strong, negative effect on the population growth of bighorn sheep is that lamb survival can be low for several years following the epidemic. Scientists are currently trying to stop this trend by conducting studies, such as vaccination trials, on ewe-lamb pairs. In these experiments correctly establishing maternity within the population is important. The purpose of my research project was to assess the effectiveness of genetic methods to identify the mothers of lambs. Using genetic methods could eliminate the high uncertainty of assigning maternity based on observation of ewe-lamb behavioral interactions. I worked with 40 blood DNA samples provided by Dr. Dan Walsh of the Colorado Division of Wildlife which came from the Foothills Wildlife Research Facility (FWRF) Herd. I used the polymerase chain reaction to amplify and genotype 22 microsatellite DNA loci (locations in DNA that have a high mutation rate and can thus be used to determine relatedness between individuals). Then I used a probability of exclusion formula to determine the power of the microsatellites to correctly exclude false parents. Based on literature research I established that the microsatellites would have enough power to be used in further studies if the probability of exclusion was greater than 95%. Later my genetic-based maternity assignments will be compared to those already determined for the captive herd in order to test this experiment empirically.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 15th, 3:00 PM Apr 15th, 4:00 PM

DETERMINING BIGHORN SHEEP MATERNITY WITH MOLECULAR GENETIC TECHNIQUES: A POTENTIAL TOOL IN THE EXPLORATION OF PNEUMONIA OUTBREAKS

UC South Ballroom

Pneumonia epidemics are responsible for local population die-offs in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) throughout the western United States. One reason pneumonia has such a strong, negative effect on the population growth of bighorn sheep is that lamb survival can be low for several years following the epidemic. Scientists are currently trying to stop this trend by conducting studies, such as vaccination trials, on ewe-lamb pairs. In these experiments correctly establishing maternity within the population is important. The purpose of my research project was to assess the effectiveness of genetic methods to identify the mothers of lambs. Using genetic methods could eliminate the high uncertainty of assigning maternity based on observation of ewe-lamb behavioral interactions. I worked with 40 blood DNA samples provided by Dr. Dan Walsh of the Colorado Division of Wildlife which came from the Foothills Wildlife Research Facility (FWRF) Herd. I used the polymerase chain reaction to amplify and genotype 22 microsatellite DNA loci (locations in DNA that have a high mutation rate and can thus be used to determine relatedness between individuals). Then I used a probability of exclusion formula to determine the power of the microsatellites to correctly exclude false parents. Based on literature research I established that the microsatellites would have enough power to be used in further studies if the probability of exclusion was greater than 95%. Later my genetic-based maternity assignments will be compared to those already determined for the captive herd in order to test this experiment empirically.