Event Title

Genetic Differentiation of Natural River Otter Populations in Minnesota

Location

CSU 285

Start Date

25-4-2005 10:30 AM

End Date

25-4-2005 12:00 PM

Student's Major

Biological Sciences

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

John D. Krentz

Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Second Mentor's Name

Robert E. Sorensen

Second Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Second Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

In the early 1900s, otter populations were greatly reduced in Minnesota by human activity. Current populations have rebounded and translocations of animals from source populations to areas of local extinction such as the Minnesota River have occurred or are being contemplated. Knowledge of the genetic make-up of potential source populations would allow conservationists to preserve biological (genetic) diversity. Natural populations within species differ genetically, and knowledge of such differences is important in the conservation of biological diversity. Genetic differences between populations may be caused by a restriction in the exchange of individuals. My goal was to quantify (DNA) genetic differences among populations of river otters intimately associated with drainage systems in Minnesota and hypothesized that populations which are more connected by river systems would be more similar genetically. Otter tissue was collected from trappers. I used DNA sequence data from prior studies in other states to develop a method for genotyping Minnesota otters. I compared DNA of otters from the Upper Mississippi River and Lower Mississippi River populations, and also compared them to the St. Louis River population (which is not connected to the Mississippi River). The development of our methods for obtaining genotypes and our preliminary data will be presented.

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Apr 25th, 10:30 AM Apr 25th, 12:00 PM

Genetic Differentiation of Natural River Otter Populations in Minnesota

CSU 285

In the early 1900s, otter populations were greatly reduced in Minnesota by human activity. Current populations have rebounded and translocations of animals from source populations to areas of local extinction such as the Minnesota River have occurred or are being contemplated. Knowledge of the genetic make-up of potential source populations would allow conservationists to preserve biological (genetic) diversity. Natural populations within species differ genetically, and knowledge of such differences is important in the conservation of biological diversity. Genetic differences between populations may be caused by a restriction in the exchange of individuals. My goal was to quantify (DNA) genetic differences among populations of river otters intimately associated with drainage systems in Minnesota and hypothesized that populations which are more connected by river systems would be more similar genetically. Otter tissue was collected from trappers. I used DNA sequence data from prior studies in other states to develop a method for genotyping Minnesota otters. I compared DNA of otters from the Upper Mississippi River and Lower Mississippi River populations, and also compared them to the St. Louis River population (which is not connected to the Mississippi River). The development of our methods for obtaining genotypes and our preliminary data will be presented.

Recommended Citation

McCalla, Sunnie. "Genetic Differentiation of Natural River Otter Populations in Minnesota." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 25, 2005.
https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2005/oral-session-D/5