Genomic resources and genetic diversity of captive lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis)

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Friederike Bock, Susanne Gallus, Axel Janke, Frank Hailer, Beatrice L. Steck, Vikas Kumar, Maria A. Nilsson
Zoo Biology
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The lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis) is a spiral-horned antelope native to northeastern Africa. Individuals kept in zoological gardens are suspected to be highly inbred due to few founder individuals and a small breeding stock. A morphological study suggested two distinct subspecies of the lesser kudu. However, subspecies designation and population structure in zoological gardens has not been analyzed using molecular markers. We analyzed one mitochondrial marker and two nuclear intron loci (total: 2,239 nucleotides) in 52 lesser kudu individuals. Of these, 48 individuals were bred in captivity and sampled from seven different zoos. The four remaining individuals were recently captured in Somalia and are currently held in the Maktoum zoo. Maternally inherited mitochondrial sequences indicate substantial amounts of genetic variation in the zoo populations, while the biparentally inherited intron sequences are, as expected, less variable. The analyzed individuals show 10 mitochondrial haplotypes with a maximal distance of 10 mutational steps. No prominent subspecies structure is detectable in this study. For further studies of the lesser kudu population genetics, we present microsatellite markers from a low-coverage genome survey using 454 sequencing technology. Zoo Biol. 33:440–445, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals Inc.


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