Title of Project

Further Studies to Determine Subspecies Identity of Panthers by Examining the NADH-5 Gene Obtained Originally From Clotted Blood and Hair for Conservation Applications

Researcher Information

Marta Hubert
Marimer Gonzalez

Project Type

Event

Location

Miniaci Performing Arts Center

Start Date

8-4-2005 12:00 AM

End Date

8-4-2005 12:00 AM

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Further Studies to Determine Subspecies Identity of Panthers by Examining the NADH-5 Gene Obtained Originally From Clotted Blood and Hair for Conservation Applications

Miniaci Performing Arts Center

The goal of this project to further research done previously to determine the subspecies identity of a panther (named Sasha) currently living in a zoo in Ecuador. Although Sasha is thought to be a South American puma (Puma concolor concolor). This is primarily due to local belief and she is likely to actually be a Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) brought to Ecuador from south Florida in the early 1980s. The mitochondrial gene NADH-5 (ND5) has been used as a genetic marker in several large- scale studies establishing genomic ancestry and subspecies identity of pumas. As a result, the ND5 gene has been found to exhibit characteristic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) according to subspecies. Thus, samples of this gene were collected from Sasha and some other pumas (of known ancestry) as well as from domestic cat for comparisons. Previously, the ND5 gene was isolated from hair samples obtained from Sasha’s cub as well as a known Florida panther (Joey) and these sequences were compared to published variations in this gene, which represent the various subspecies. We further extracted DNA from samples of Sasha’s clotted blood and also clotted blood from domestic cat. The ND5 gene was isolated from these samples as well and compared to the ND5 sequences obtained from hair samples of panthers of known ancestry. By obtaining evidence of Sasha’s origin, it will be possible to aid in conservation of the endangered Florida Panther to which we suspect Sasha belongs.