Perspective on conservation genetics
- 187 Downloads
Conservation genetics is an applied science. Much as electrical engineering is the application of principles of physics to building rockets, satellites and television stations, conservation genetics takes the methods and theories of molecular biology, genetics and evolution, and interprets the natural history of a threatened population, the hope being to provide useful clues about a population’s genetic structure that can be valuable in developing an effective management strategy. When combined with demographic, ecological, behavioral, and physiological characteristics of endangered species, genetic data has emerged as a unifying component for interpreting past history, present status, and future prospects for threatened populations facing extinction. A notable change has occurred in the last decade in developing conservation plans. Before 1980, endangered species protection emphasized ecological and demographic considerations. Today, genetics, reproductive physiology, clinical medicine, and infectious disease are agenda items on nearly all conservation management plans.
KeywordsMajor Histocompatibility Complex Giant Panda Conservation Genetic Population Bottleneck Elephant Seal
- Avise, J.C., Arnold, J., Ball, R.M., Bermingham E., Lamb, T., Neigel, J., Reed, C.A. and Saunders, N.C. (1987) Intraspecific phylogeography: The mitochondrial-DNA bridge between population-genetics and systematics. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 18: 489–522.Google Scholar
- Heeney, J.L., Evermann, J.F., McKiernan, A.J., Marker-Kraus, L., Roelke, M.E., Bush, M., Wildt, D.E., Meltzer, D.G., Colly, L., Lucas, J., Manton, V.J., Caro, T. and O’Brien, S.J. (1990) Prevalence and implications of feline coronavirus infections of captive and free-ranging cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). J. Virol. 64: 1964–1972.PubMedGoogle Scholar