The muskoxen populations introduced to the Taimyr Peninsula and Wrangel Island in 1974 to 1975 were examined for sequence variation at seven microsatellite loci. Donor material originated from the populations of Banks Island (Canada) and Eastern Greenland. Relative to the allele frequencies, both introduced populations demonstrated rather strong deviation from the populations of the native range. At the same time, population allelic structures evidenced that they were closer to the Greenland populations. Estimates of genetic diversity at microsatellite loci (expected heterozygosity and the allele number) in the introduced muskoxen were found to be high for populations originating from a small number of founder individuals. In the immigrants, linkage disequilibrium and deviation of the genotype frequencies from the Hardy-Weinberg proportions were observed, which was mainly caused by the deficit of heterozygotes. The same pattern was also typical of native populations and was explained in terms of specific population structure and demographic processes. The latter were manifested as a periodic decline of the effective population size, resulting in the prevailing influence of genetic drift and inbreeding. The consequences of genetic drift were not as dramatic, as could be expected, which may be explained by a high mutation rate of neutral microsatellite loci and fast growth of the new populations.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 23, 2009
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