USE OF DNA SEQUENCING TO IDENTIFY THE ORIGIN OF WESTERN POND TURTLES IN CAPTIVE BREEDING PROGRAMS.
Rachel L. Morrow; C.S.U. Fresno; 40593 Big Oak Flat Road South, Oakhurst, CA, 93644; (559) 760-9107; cherryblossom94@mail.fresnostate.edu; Joshua S. Reece
Captive breeding programs must maintain a balance between preserving the genetic purity and genetic diversity of a population in order to build a viable population for future reintroduction. This may be difficult due to the limited number of extant wild individuals for establishment of founder populations, leading to an increased risk of inbreeding or outbreeding depression in consequent generations. We are collaborating with zoos and animal-holding facilities to aid in conservation of threatened and endangered species through captive breeding. At CSU Fresno, we are using DNA sequencing to identify the species and geographic origin of wild-bred Western Pond Turtles (genus Actinemys) in the programs we are collaborating with. Results will be used to inform wildlife managers for the development of captive breeding protocols and reintroduction plans that are sensitive to species and geographic origin. We have used the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4) mitochondrial gene marker to identify species and geographic origin for 33 captive individuals including 17 northern species (Actinemys marmorata) and sixteen southern species (Actinemys pallida) individuals. Once A. marmorata and A. pallida males and females have been identified, breeding will be managed in consideration of species, geographic origin, and the subsequent risks of outbreeding and inbreeding depression.
Poster Session   Student Paper