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An experimental evaluation with Drosophila melanogaster of a novel dynamic system for the management of subdivided populations in conservation programs

By V Ávila, J Fernández, H Quesada and A Caballero


A dynamic method (DM) recently proposed for the management of captive subdivided populations was evaluated using the pilot species Drosophila melanogaster. By accounting for the particular genetic population structure, the DM determines the optimal mating pairs, their contributions to progeny and the migration pattern that minimize the overall coancestry in the population with a control of inbreeding levels. After a pre-management period such that one of the four subpopulations had higher inbreeding and differentiation than the others, three management methods were compared for 10 generations over three replicates: (1) isolated subpopulations (IS), (2) one-migrant-per-generation rule (OMPG), (3) DM aimed to produce the same or lower inbreeding coefficient than OMPG. The DM produced the lowest coancestry and equal or lower inbreeding than the OMPG method throughout the experiment. The initially lower fitness and lower variation for nine microsatellite loci of the highly inbred subpopulation were restored more quickly with the DM than with the OMPG method. We provide, therefore, an empirical illustration of the usefulness of the DM as a conservation protocol for captive subdivided populations when pedigree information is available (or can be deduced) and manipulation of breeding pairs is possible

Topics: Original Article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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