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Wednesday, April 22 • 10:25am - 10:45am
Identification of Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) Cubs’ Ancestral Geographic Origin Using Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

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Canis lupus, the gray wolf, is a highly adaptable species found in zoos and nature centers across the United States. Though Canis lupus once thrived throughout Asia, Europe, and North America, it was rapidly over-hunted and by the late 1970s, was reclassified as endangered. This mandated its increased regulation and protection. The Western North Carolina Nature Center in Asheville, NC has two Canis lupus cubs whose grandparents are of unknown geographic origin. Their animal curator hopes to determine if their grandparents came from North America, as this will require a higher protection status and increased regulation (such as experimental populations and controlled geographic regions, among many others) of the cubs. To test this, fur samples were collected from both cubs, and DNA was extracted. Primers (ATP8-1F, ATP8-2R, ATP-8-lupus-F) which can differentiate between Old World and New World Canis lupus subspecies were used to amplify a region of the wolves’ mitochondrial DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The MT-ATP8 gene will be sequenced and compared to previously identified sequences of this gene in other Canis lupus subspecies via a GenBank® Blast. This comparative analysis will determine the origin of the grandparents, which in turn will allow the WNC-NC to take the appropriate conservation steps for the Canis lupus cubs.

Wednesday April 22, 2015 10:25am - 10:45am PDT
014 Zeis Hall

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