Abstract # 68:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


DEVELOPMENT OF NON-INVASIVE GENETIC STUDIES OF THE BONOBOS (<I>PAN PANISCUS</I>) AT THE IYEMA FIELD SITE OF THE LOMAKO FOREST, DRC

C. M. Brand1, F. J. White1, M. T. Waller1,2, M. J. Ruiz-Lopez3, M. L. Wakefield4 and N. Ting1,3
1University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA, 2World Languages and Cultures Department, Central Oregon Community College, Bend, OR, USA, 3Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA, 4Northern Kentucky University
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     Studies of wild apes are critical to understanding the behavior of early humans. Chimpanzees and bonobos are good models as they are our closest relatives and equally related to humans. However, relatively few studies on wild bonobo populations have been conducted, and even fewer have used genetics to inform behavioral observations. We seek to use genetic data to aid in studies of behavior and demography at the Iyema field site in the Lomako Forest, DRC. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of microsatellite genotyping in non-invasively collected samples from our study location. 58 fecal samples were collected from this community, stored in RNA later, and used for DNA extraction. Endogenous DNA was quantified using a qPCR assay, with DNA yields ranging from less than 0.01 to 0.45 ng/ul and 39/58 samples containing sufficient amounts of DNA for microsatellite genotyping. Fifteen microsatellite loci were tested for amplification success and screened for polymorphism in a subset of the samples, with all loci successfully amplifying and twelve demonstrating polymorphism. Based on these results, we are completing the genotypes in our sample, re-extracting samples with low DNA yields, and continuing collection and analysis of genetic data from these bonobos for inference of party composition and relatedness among individuals. The importance of these genetic data to our ongoing study of wild bonobos is discussed.