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Genetic Analyses Through DNA Fingerprinting of Captive Populations of Hawaiian Geese

Elizabeth H. Rave, Robert C. Fleischer, Fern Duvall and Jeffrey M. Black
Conservation Biology
Vol. 8, No. 3 (Sep., 1994), pp. 744-751
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2386516
Page Count: 8
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Genetic Analyses Through DNA Fingerprinting of Captive Populations of Hawaiian Geese
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Abstract

DNA fingerprinting was used to assess levels of genetic variation in 106 Hawaiian Geese, or Nene (Branta sandvicensis), from two captive colonies in Hawaii and Slimbridge, England. Mantel tests were used to determine differences in mean similarity coefficients obtained from DNA fingerprints between unrelated and related Nene within and between captive colonies and to determine whether pedigree-based estimates of relatedness correlated with DNA fingerprint-based estimates. Between colonies, mean similarity coefficients for unrelated and related Slimbridge Nene were higher than those for Hawaiian Nene. Within each colony, related Nene had higher mean similarity coefficients than did unrelated Nene. A positive relationship was found between coancestry coefficients and similarity coefficients. A greater number of founders for the Hawaiian colony contributed to the lower mean similarity coefficients. As genetic variation decreases, difficulty in distinguishing relatedness among individuals using DNA fingerprinting may increase. Lower genetic variation also may increase the error in estimating the relationship between coancestry and similarity coefficients. DNA fingerprinting of Nene identified unique alleles and can determine optimal pairings between individuals. The calibrated similarity coefficient distributions can help determine the relatedness of individuals in wild populations of Nene.

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