University of Alberta

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[Thesis MSc Seminars]
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 Wednesday, October 23rd, 2002

Thesis MSc Seminars
Hybridization of brown lemurs at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar,
Jan Jekielek
12:00 PM-, CW 313 Biological Sciences Bldg.

Based on historical data, morphology and genetic compatibility, it was suggested that an isolated population of introduced brown lemurs at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar may contain hybrids, Eulemur fulvus rufus X Eulemur collaris and possible backcrosses. In the first study of its kind in lemurs, microsatellite DNA fingerprinting was used to study genetic variation and purported hybridization in this population. Considering the Berenty population alone, genetic variation was examined at 10 microsatellite loci. Genetic diversity measures indicate that these genetic markers are suitable for studies of brown lemur parentage and relatedness. As a reference population, a sample of brown lemurs at Kirindy Forest, southwestern Madagascar was used. At 7 loci, both populations conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium proportions, indicating random mating in both populations, and their levels of genetic variation were comparable. Genetic differentiation between the two populations was highly significant. To assess hybridization in the population, the allele frequencies in the two populations were compared with alleles in pure E.collaris, and the Berenty population was screened at four microsatellite loci containing diagnostic alleles. At least 30 of 88 Berenty brown lemurs screened proved conclusively to be hybrids, though the actual number is likely to be much higher. For management and captive breeding purposes, all brown lemurs from the Berenty population should be considered hybrids