Using Genomic Methods to Assist Population Reestablishment in the Endangered Crawfish Frog Lithobates areolatus
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 3:30pm
Smith Hall, Room 359 Towson University, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252, USA
Speaker: Dr. Steven Kimble, Towson University
Abstract: Amphibians are the most imperiled vertebrate class, chiefly due to habitat loss and disease. The crawfish frog Lithobates areolatus is a habitat specialist, requiring moist, open grasslands, and is threatened across much of its range. Many populations have been extirpated in Indiana: it was once known to inhabit 22 counties and is now known to have only six. While interest in reversing this decline is growing, very little is known about the genomes of this species. We are developing genomic resources to inform decisions on the sourcing of individuals from existing populations to restart extirpated ones. These include thousands of SNPs in neutral loci and those associated with immune function, in order to 1.) investigate demographic histories, and 2.) maximize functional immunome diversity in new populations. Recommendations will be made regarding optimal genomic sourcing for these efforts, and the project will serve as an example in using modern sequencing technologies in the applied conservation of nonmodel wildlife species.
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