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Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2013 Jan;1:261-81. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-031412-103636. Epub 2013 Jan 3.

Conservation genomics of threatened animal species.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, Escondido, California 92027; email: PHoeck@sandiegozoo.org ; CSteiner@sandiegozoo.org ; ORyder@sandiegozoo.org.

Abstract

The genomics era has opened up exciting possibilities in the field of conservation biology by enabling genomic analyses of threatened species that previously were limited to model organisms. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) and the collection of genome-wide data allow for more robust studies of the demographic history of populations and adaptive variation associated with fitness and local adaptation. Genomic analyses can also advance management efforts for threatened wild and captive populations by identifying loci contributing to inbreeding depression and disease susceptibility, and predicting fitness consequences of introgression. However, the development of genomic tools in wild species still carries multiple challenges, particularly those associated with computational and sampling constraints. This review provides an overview of the most significant applications of NGS and the implications and limitations of genomic studies in conservation.

KEYWORDS:

adaptive variation; disease susceptibility; hybridization; inbreeding depression; population demography

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