Navigation Links
Unique frog helps amphibian conservation efforts
Date:3/7/2011

A tropical frog the only one of its kind in the world is providing conservationists with exclusive insights into the genetic make-up of its closest endangered relatives.

University of Manchester scientists have allowed two critically endangered species of Central American Leaf frogs to interbreed, producing the unique frog a hybrid of the two species. DNA tests using a harmless mouth swab showed that the two parent frogs were actually very closely related despite being different species.

The findings are important because DNA tests on frogs of the same species but from different geographical areas have revealed considerable genetic differences. The scientists therefore suggest that conservation efforts should not only focus on each endangered species of frog but also on different populations of the same frog species.

"Almost a third of the world's amphibians are threatened with extinction, so it is imperative that we identify distinct populations of critically endangered species before they are lost forever," said Andrew Gray, Curator of Herpetology at the University's Manchester Museum.

"Through allowing interbreeding, and using DNA samples taken from the frogs' mouth, this work investigates the amount of variation both between and within species. More importantly, it is helping determine where conservation efforts should be concentrated and highlighting that some populations of critically endangered amphibians are in desperate need of further protection."

In the past, an animal's appearance, including its colouration, defined it. But phylogenetics the study of evolutionary relatedness of species through genetics is becoming increasingly important in helping biologists identify separate species in need of conservation.

The unique Leaf frog, which is maintained at the Manchester Museum, was bred from the two species Agalychnis annae, from Costa Rica and Panama, and Agalychnis moreletii, which is found in humid highland tropical forests ranging from southern Mexico to central Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize.

"Allowing the interbreeding of amphibians has proven particularly useful in providing evidence for the inheritance of genes, including certain colour pattern traits," said Andrew. "The study has shown that the two species used to produce the hybrid frog are extremely closely related. However, they should continue to be considered as separate, both for classification and conservation purposes.

"It is also important to recognise the levels of variation in distinct populations of other closely related species. If conservation is our prime objective, it follows that separate populations of the same species should also be conserved for the future as distinct entities and future studies should focus on assessing the levels of variation in the different populations of these wonderful creatures."


'/>"/>

Contact: Aeron Haworth
aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk
44-161-275-8383
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. European researchers harness unique properties of boron to develop new drugs and diagnostics
2. Caltech geobiologists discover unique magnetic death star fossil
3. GUMC and Oak Ridge National Labs announce unique research partnership
4. NC State takes research lead in protecting Puerto Ricos unique freshwater fisheries
5. Unique transatlantic tie-up to understand the aging process
6. Researchers find pathway and enzyme unique to tularemia organism
7. Rots unique wood degrading machinery to be harnessed for better biofuels production
8. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a unique approach for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen
9. Climate change threatens Lake Baikals unique biota
10. New DNA and RNA aptamers offer unique therapeutic advantages
11. Unique winter-hardy hibiscus has roots with AgriLife Research scientist in Vernon
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/30/2017)... , June 30, 2017 Today, ... developer and supplier of face and eye tracking ... Featured Product provider program. "Artificial ... innovative way to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels ... from being able to detect fatigue and prevent ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for ... has been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The ... and the USA . The technology was ... the market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 ... Multimedia News Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... RAM Group , Singaporean based ... in biometric authentication based on a novel  ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on ... Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will have ... and security. Ram Group is a next generation ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... will garner a better understanding of the considerations needed for designing ideal guide ... The use of CRISPR-Cas9 to create targeted double-strand breaks in genomic DNA has ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... ... July 26, 2017 , ... NLP Logix ... years of diagnostic excellence by Mayo Clinic and the experience in developing and ... be distributed through the Microsoft Azure platform and will focus on assisting physicians ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... N.J. , July 26, 2017  Nurse practitioners play ... to the findings of a Merck Manuals survey ... recent medical conference, revealed that most (88 percent) believe they ... diagnoses, treatments and prescriptions. ... Merck Manuals survey of 210 ...
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... Bactana Animal ... efficiency of livestock farming while reducing the use of antibiotics and hormones in ... from Cornell University. , These new proprietary technologies expand the breadth of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: