Navigation Links
Genetic analysis of Asian elephants in India reveals some surprises

Researchers in India and from The Earth Institute at Columbia University have discovered that one of the few remaining populations of Asian elephants in India is actually two genetically distinct groups. The results of the study, which appear in the current issue of the journal Animal Conservation, could have far-reaching implications in conservation plans for the endangered elephants as well as other species on the Subcontinent.

Prithiviraj Fernando, a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC), and Don Melnick, executive director of CERC, together with colleagues from the Centre for Ecological Science at the Indian Institute of Science collected dung samples from nearly 300 wild Asian elephants and 30 captive elephants for which reliable capture information existed. They then examined DNA from the samples and found that, of the distinct populations found in India, the groups that inhabit the forests in the northeast of the country is actually composed of two genetically distinct populations separated by the Brahmaputra River.

Despite the low and declining numbers of Asian elephants, relatively little is known about their genetic diversity--information that is crucial to plans for preserving the species. An earlier study of elephants in southern India by the same group identified two distinct populations where there was previously thought to be only one. A region known as the Palghat Gap, a wide pass through the Western Ghat mountain range, was found to act a biogeographical barrier between the two in that case.

"It is interesting that the Brahmaputra seems to have been a biogeographical barrier for several species," the authors write in their most recent study. "Population genetic studies of other species would be helpful in corroborating whether the Palghat Gap and the Brahmaputra River have served as important biogeographical barriers to a broad range of taxa and thus should be considered in future conservation planning."

The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is recognized by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as an endangered species, with an estimated 22,700 to 32,400 individuals remaining, more than half of which are in India. Elephant numbers throughout Asia have declined drastically over the last several hundred years, mainly due to habitat loss and fragmentation, capture and domestication, and, more recently, poaching of males for ivory.

To combat these declines, India established 11 so-called "elephant ranges" that incorporate more than half of the known elephant habitat. Fewer than half of these ranges, however, offer the much stricter protections provided by wildlife sanctuaries or national parks. Moreover, India is projected to overtake China as the world's most populous country by 2030, a fact that almost certain to bring about increased competition for space between humans and elephants.

Still, Melnick and his colleagues are confident that their work represents a crucial step in efforts to protect an animal that is deeply rooted in Indian culture. "If we are going to find a way to protect elephants for future generations, we need to preserve the greatest genetic diversity possible." says Melnick. "We're just acting blind if we don't know where that diversity is. This study shows us where we need to focus our efforts."


'"/>

Source:The Earth Institute at Columbia University


Related biology news :

1. Novel Asthma Study Shows Multiple Genetic Input Required; Single-gene Solution Shot Down
2. Genetically modified natural killer immune cells attack, kill leukemia cells
3. Ants Genetic Engineering Leads To Species Interdependency
4. Genetic Variation Visualization - From EMBL
5. Genetically modified rice in China benefits farmers health, study finds
6. Infants With Rare Genetic Disease Saved by Cord Blood Stem Cells
7. Genetically Modified Natural Killer Immune Cells Attack, Kill Leukemia Cells
8. Genetic defects give the immune system the green light to attack the pancreas
9. Maine Researchers Find Exceptions to Old Rules of Genetic Inheritance
10. Genetic therapy reverses nervous system damage in animal model of inherited human disease
11. Infants with Rare Genetic Disease Saved By Cord Blood Stem Cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/4/2017)... NEW YORK , April 4, 2017   ... solutions, today announced that the United States Patent and ... The patent broadly covers the linking of an iris ... the same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... our latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com ... Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... will focus on developing health and wellness apps that ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon for ... world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and health ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and ... and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial ... and others), by end use industry (government and law ... financial and banking, and others), and by region ( ... , Asia Pacific , and the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... in Vilnius, Lithuania, announced today that they have entered into a multiyear collaboration ... to provide CRISPR researchers with additional tools for gene editing across all applications. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to ... of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit is back for its ... 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current and former FDA office ... directors and government officials from around the world to address key issues in device ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the main causes of the ... Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air pollution related diseases. , ... pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I knew I had to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: