Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Hered. 2009 Jan-Feb;100(1):25-33. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esn077. Epub 2008 Sep 23.

Extremely low genetic diversity in the endangered Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi).

Author information

1
Department of Zoology and Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, PO Box 1346, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA. jschultz@hawaii.edu

Abstract

Hunted to near extinction in the late 19th century, the endangered and endemic Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) exhibits low variation at all molecular markers tested to date. Here we confirm extreme paucity of genetic diversity, finding polymorphisms at only 8 of 154 microsatellite loci tested (143 novel species-specific loci, 10 loci from Antarctic seals, and 1 previously characterized locus). This screening revealed unprecedentedly low levels of allelic diversity and heterozygosity (A = 1.1, H(e) = 0.026). Subsequent analyses of 2409 Hawaiian monk seals at the 8 polymorphic loci provide evidence for a bottleneck (P = 0.002), but simulations indicate low genetic diversity (H(e) < 0.09) prior to recorded human influence. There is little indication of contemporary inbreeding (F(IS) = 0.018) or population structure (K = 1 population). Minimal genetic variation did not prevent partial recovery by the late 1950s and may not be driving the current population decline to approximately 1200 seals. Nonetheless, genotyping nearly every individual living during the past 25 years sets a new benchmark for low genetic diversity in an endangered species.

PMID:
18815116
DOI:
10.1093/jhered/esn077
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center