Present address: Escuela de Biología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.
Founder effect in an island population of bighorn sheep
Article first published online: 21 DEC 2001
Volume 10, Issue 4, pages 851–857, April 2001
How to Cite
Hedrick, P. W., Gutierrez-Espeleta, G. A. and Lee, R. N. (2001), Founder effect in an island population of bighorn sheep. Molecular Ecology, 10: 851–857. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2001.01243.x
- Issue published online: 21 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 21 DEC 2001
- Received 21 July 2000; revision received 30 October 2000; accepted 30 October 2000
- founder effect;
- genetic distance;
- genetic drift;
- major histocompatibility complex;
- microsatellite loci
The Tiburon Island population of desert bighorn sheep has increased in size from 20 founders in 1975 to approximately 650 in 1999. This population is now the only population being used as the source stock for transplantations throughout northern Mexico. To evaluate the genetic variation in this population, we examined 10 microsatellite loci and a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus. The genetic variation was significantly less than found in other populations of the same subspecies in Arizona. Using a model that takes into account the effects of genetic drift on genetic distance, most of the genetic distance observed between the Tiburon population and Arizona samples could be explained. Because of the low genetic variation found in the Tiburon population, it is suggested that the Tiburon population should be supplemented with additional unrelated animals or that the transplant populations should be supplemented with unrelated animals.