Genetic variability and population structure of grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Serbia

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Abstract

Results of previous morphometric and genetic analyses of grey wolf (Canis lupus L.) population from Serbia indicated different patterns of population subdivision. In order to explore population structure, level of genetic variability, genetic drift, inbreeding and signals of bottleneck for grey wolves from Serbia, we applied highly polymorphic genetic markers (microsatellites). Obtained data are valuable in determination of conservation units and creation of appropriate management plans. We have amplified 18 highly polymorphic microsatellites, in a total sample of 75 grey wolves, from different localities across Serbia and multilocus genotypes were analyzed using appropriate software. Observed values of the basic genetic parameters (HO = 0.69; HE = 0.75) indicated moderate level of genetic variability, similar to genetic variability in other populations belonging to the Dinaric-Balkan population of grey wolf. In STRUCTURE analysis, although ΔK was estimated to be at first peak K = 2, and second peak K = 4, CLUMPAK analyses showed that there’s no structuring for any of assumed K, and therefore the population of grey wolf from Serbia may be considered as one continuous population and treated as one conservation unit in future management plans. Signals of bottleneck haven’t been observed (Wilcoxon test two phase mutation model p = 0.247; and stepwise mutation model p = 0.815).<<<Read More>>>(Staff Note – to read entire study, it will have to be purchased.)