Genetic Diversity of Captive Eastern Sarus Crane in Thailand Inferred from Mitochondrial Control Region Sequence and Microsatellite DNA markers
The eastern sarus crane, Grus antigone sharpii, was reported to be extinct from Thailand, thus a captive breeding is a crucial step to reintroduce the crane population back into the wild. However, genetic diversity in a captive population is also of immense importance as well as the increase number of individuals. This study aimed to assess genetic diversity of captive crane populations at Khao Kheow Open Zoo and Bangpra Water Bird Breeding Station, Chonburi Province, using both mitochondrial and microsatellite markers. Mitochondrial control regions of G. a. sharpii were sequenced (1,003 bps.) and 10 microsatellite primer pairs isolated from blue crane were used to screen for polymorphic loci using cross-species amplification. The results revealed that captive G. a. sharpii show high haplotype diversity (0.915) and heterozygosity (mean HE = 0.77 and HO = 0.85), with low genetic differentiation (FST = 0.042) and inbreeding (FIS = -0.095). Moreover, Bayesian analysis using STRUCTURE suggested that the two captive populations are genetically similar and shared many common alleles (K = 1), which also supported by haplotype network and phylogenetic analyses. Therefore, these captive crane populations may be suitable for future breeding and reintroduction programs.
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