Abstract # 178:

Scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 21 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


GEOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF THE WESTERN GORILLA DIVERSITY IN USA ZOOS

I. D. Soto-Calderon1,2, J. L. Dew2, M. I. Jensen-Seaman3 and N. M. Anthony2
1University of Antioquia, Calle 70 #52-21, Lab. 7-304, Genética, Mejoramiento y Modelación Animal (GaMMA), Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia, 2Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA., 3Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15282, USA.
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      Wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) exhibit strong population genetic structure across much of their natural range and mitochondrial haplogroups are geographically well defined. Western gorillas currently present in North American zoos all show high levels of genetic diversity. Captive gorillas in the USA are descended from free-range gorillas captured between 1820s and 1970s but information on their geographic origin and mitochondrial haplogroup affiliation is lacking. In order to address the mitochondrial haplogroup composition of the captive population and assess the degree to which mating may have occurred between these lineages, we analyzed 235bp of the first hyper-variable sub-domain (HVI) of the Mitochondrial Control Region. The dataset consisted on 166 sequences of free-range western gorillas from previous studies, the sequence of six captive gorillas available through the genebank and 83 captive gorillas sequenced here. Bayesian phylogenetic reconstruction allowed the assignment of a specific haplogroup to each individual in captivity and its relatives within the same maternal lineage. Every haplogroup and sub-haplogroup previously described in wild western gorillas (C 1-3 and D 1-3) was recovered indicating a wide geographic representation in the captive population. Combined phylogenetic and pedigree analysis also revealed that many captive gorillas are the offspring of parents from different mitochondrial haplogroup lineages, and therefore whose ancestors may have originated from distinct subpopulations of west gorillas. Research supported by the NIH (R15 GM073682-01).