Navigation Links
Study rules out inbreeding as cause of amphibian deformities
Date:10/28/2008

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Although research has linked inbreeding with elevated rates of deformity in a wide variety of animals, a new study finds it plays no part in the high incidence of malformation among salamanders.

Purdue University researchers recently examined 2,000 adult and juvenile salamanders and found that 8 percent had visible deformities, mainly consisting of missing, extra or dwarfed digits (equivalent to fingers and toes). That is double the rate of malformation found in newts, a related amphibian, but on par and with frequencies seen in many frog species, said assistant professor of forestry and natural resources Rod Williams.

"This is really the first study to test - and disprove - the hypothesis that inbreeding is responsible for malformations in salamanders," said Williams, corresponding author of the study published recently in the journal Biology Letters.

Like many types of amphibians, tiger salamanders return to the same pond throughout their lives to mate. Williams and his former doctoral adviser, lead author Andrew DeWoody, hypothesized that habitat fragmentation or other factors might increase the probability that related salamanders could return to the same spot and mate.

But their study found animals' genetic backgrounds to be unrelated to deformation rates; deformed salamanders were no more inbred than normal individuals. The population proved to be quite diverse, in fact, with roughly twice as much genetic variation as most land animals, DeWoody said.

They calculated relatedness by measuring frequencies of alleles, which are copies or pairs of genes whose ratios are abnormally skewed in inbred individuals.

High rates of amphibian malformation concern scientists not only because they threaten the survival of certain important species, but also because of what they signify about the health of the environment, said DeWoody, an associate professor.

"Amphibians are a good bio-indicator species - real canaries in the coal mine," Williams said.

Amphibians are more heavily impacted by water pollutants because of their semipermeable skin. Many species also begin life in water, where they risk contaminant exposure during their most vulnerable years, Williams said.

The reason for high rates of deformation in salamanders, frogs and other amphibians remains a mystery, DeWoody said. With inbreeding ruled out, however, environmental factors like parasites, ultraviolet radiation and water pollution remain prime suspects, he said.

Williams and DeWoody are actively looking for a cause or causes that may shed light upon high levels of malformation in frogs and other amphibians.

"We've crossed out inbreeding as a possibility, an important step forward," DeWoody said. "But there's a lot of work yet to do."


'/>"/>

Contact: Douglas M. Main
dmain@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Researchers apply systems biology and glycomics to study human inflammatory diseases
2. Study helps clarify role of soil microbes in global warming
3. Franklin Square to study airway bypass procedure for severe emphysema
4. Study may explain exercise-induced fatigue in muscular dystrophies
5. First comprehensive genomic study of common cold reveals new treatment targets
6. New study shows drinking your vegetables may be a solution to bridging the vegetable gap
7. New Study Reveals the Emotional Impact and Effectiveness of Negative Campaigning
8. Study: Elderly Women can increase strength but still risk falls
9. Greenhouse gas auction revenues can help cut Md. electric use significantly, says study
10. The Marine Mammal Center begins new leptospirosis study in California
11. UCSB study finds physical strength, fighting ability revealed in human faces
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study rules out inbreeding as cause of amphibian deformities
(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017 RAM Group , ... new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are ... created by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor ... supply chains and security. Ram Group is a ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event ... emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and ... alongside the expo portion of the event and feature ... focused on trending topics within 3D printing and smart ... event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, ... security technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. ... to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate ... ... NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and benefiting from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze ... pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most ... you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and ... unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... a leading provider of patient support solutions, has announced the ... which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs will address ... enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer education programs ... to help women who have been diagnosed and are being ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new ... rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. ... to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen ...
Breaking Biology Technology: