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Use of molecular markers to study the effects of environmental impacts on genetic diversity in brown bullhead (Ameirus nebulosus) populations


  • This document has been reviewed in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy and approved for publication. Approval does not signify that the contents necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Agency nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.


Conservation biology needs sound biological information in order to maintain biological diversity in the face of the current rate of loss. An important component of the information needed is the level of genetic diversity within and between populations, especially for those species faced with exposure to environmental stressors. We applied multilocus DNA profile analysis (highly variable number tandem repeats [HVNTR] and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA [RAPD] techniques) and allozyme analysis to test whether individuals from historically degraded sites display levels of genetic diversity different from individuals taken from reference sites. Four Lake Erie tributaries, two impacted and two reference sites, were the sources of brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) samples. Pairwise comparison of the sampled populations demonstrated an association of decreased genetic diversity with exposure of brown bullhead to stressors using both RAPD and HVNTR analysis.

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