Population Genetic Analysis of Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Hedmark Country, Norway - A Pilot Study
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Ecological and environmental studies commonly depended on the knowledge of genetic variation among individuals within a population and most of the population studies were carried out using genetic markers. In this thesis, individuals of Vulpes vulpes species were genotyped using microsatellite markers to study their population diversity. DNAs were isolated successfully from the muscle tissues of 33 individuals and in some cases, from the hair and scat of the foxes. Twenty microsatellite primers with 1 sex chromosome marker were successfully designed using MP primer downloaded program out of which 16 primers amplified the DNA template samples successfully. The Amplicons were successfully genotyped and checked for genotyping errors. The LOSITAN program identified two of the markers to be under selection and the Micro-Checker program adjusted the alleles, which were identified as ‘null’ alleles. The analysis was performed on three different types of data: original genotype data, adjusted genotype data with the null allele markers and genotype data without the null allele markers. The marker under balanced selection was also added to verify its effect on the study. The STRUCTURE program assembled the individuals into different clusters. The Arlequin program estimated that the individuals grouped using original genotype data proved genetically variable, whereas individuals grouped using adjusted null alleles did not show any significant variance. Original genotype data looks promising as the loci were not significantly in Linkage Disequilibrium but this can be justified by increasing the number of individuals for the study. Analysis using genotypic data without null allele markers did not vary from the analysis using original genotypic data. Addition of marker under balanced selection showed significant Linkage disequilibrium in the study of all the three types of data. Relationship between the individuals showed that many individuals were half- siblings and 4 of them were full siblings.
Mastergradsoppgave i næringsrettet bioteknologi, Avdeling for lærerutdanning og naturvitenskap, Høgskolen i Hedmark, 2013. Master of applied and commercial biotechnology.