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Full Mitogenomes in the Critically Endangered Kakapo Reveal Major Post-Glacial and Anthropogenic Effects on Neutral Genetic Diversity
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden.
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Genes, ISSN 2073-4425, E-ISSN 2073-4425, Vol. 9, no 4, article id 220Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Understanding how species respond to population declines is a central question in conservation and evolutionary biology. Population declines are often associated with loss of genetic diversity, inbreeding and accumulation of deleterious mutations, which can lead to a reduction in fitness and subsequently contribute to extinction. Using temporal approaches can help us understand the effects of population declines on genetic diversity in real time. Sequencing pre-decline as well as post-decline mitogenomes representing all the remaining mitochondrial diversity, we estimated the loss of genetic diversity in the critically endangered kakapo (Strigops habroptilus). We detected a signal of population expansion coinciding with the end of the Pleistocene last glacial maximum (LGM). Also, we found some evidence for northern and southern lineages, supporting the hypothesis that the species may have been restricted to isolated northern and southern refugia during the LGM. We observed an important loss of neutral genetic diversity associated with European settlement in New Zealand but we could not exclude a population decline associated with Polynesian settlement in New Zealand. However, we did not find evidence for fixation of deleterious mutations. We argue that despite high pre-decline genetic diversity, a rapid and range-wide decline combined with the lek mating system, and life-history traits of kakapo contributed to a rapid loss of genetic diversity following severe population declines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 9, no 4, article id 220
Keywords [en]
bottleneck, expansion, mitogenome, endemic, historical DNA, genetic diversity
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158174DOI: 10.3390/genes9040220ISI: 000435182200048PubMedID: 29671759OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158174DiVA, id: diva2:1234166
Available from: 2018-07-23 Created: 2018-07-23 Last updated: 2018-07-23Bibliographically approved

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