HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Genetic Uniqueness Threatens Florida Manatee's Future

GAINESVILLE -- As Florida manatees lumber into warmer waters this month for their winter respite, they're admired for their unique appearance and lovable charm. But it's that very singularity that University of Florida scientists say could be leading the gentle sea cows down the path to extinction.

Genetic testing and DNA comparisons of manatees from eight regions along the Western Atlantic have revealed that the animals living in Florida waters share dangerously low genetic diversity, making them more susceptible to diseases and more sensitive to climate changes, said Brian Bowen, a conservation geneticist with UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

"What we've learned is the Florida manatee is genetically unique, and that it's isolated from manatees elsewhere in the Caribbean and the Yucatan," Bowen said. "Because of their low genetic diversity, it causes concern but not alarm. It's the same sort of problem that the Florida panther faced 50 years ago."

Researchers collected blood, skin and tissue samples from manatees in Florida, South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The DNA fingerprinting allowed scientists to gain valuable data on their population structures, said Angelica Garcia, a UF graduate researcher working with the Sirenia Project, a federal agency that studies manatees.

Because the manatees living in Florida make up a closely related, separate population, it means their numbers will rise and fall on their own.

"If the population crashes, they are gone," Garcia said. "It is unlikely that it will recover from a natural source of animals coming into Florida to repopulate."

By looking at the genetic traits of the manatee, biologists now believe a small number of Caribbean sea cows colonized Florida waters in the last 10,000 years. With only a few ancestors to start with, today's manatees could be faced with inbreeding problems, making it harder for the species to cope.

Despite the manatee's ability to
'"/>

Contact: Karen Meisenheimer
kmize@ufl.edu
352-392-1773
University of Florida
12-Nov-1998


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Genetic mutations linked to the practice of burning coal in homes in China
2. Genetic differences might help distinguish thyroid cancers
3. Genetic modification of linseed produces healthier omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
4. Wiley publishes Welcome to the Genome: A Users Guide to the Genetic Past, Present, and Future
5. Genetically modified bacterium as remedy for intestinal diseases
6. Genetic analysis rewrites salamanders evolutionary history
7. Genetic map of important tree genes outlined
8. Genetically-engineered marathon mouse keeps on running
9. Genetic clues found for common congenital brain disorder
10. Genetic mutation linked to more aggressive breast cancer found more often in African-Americans
11. Genetic discovery could dramatically reduce need for liver transplants in children

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/2/2018)... ... August 02, 2018 , ... RxS LLC ... biotech companies, today announced that Mark Jara, principal of the organization, has been ... life sciences industry. Individuals named to PharmaVOICE 100 are leaders who drive the ...
(Date:8/1/2018)... ... August 01, 2018 , ... RURO, Inc., ... Limfinity® version 7.1. Limfinity® is the software framework that all of RURO’s products ... for both current users and the future of RURO’s laboratory software portfolio. , ...
(Date:8/1/2018)... ... August 01, 2018 , ... Clinical Training ... MA's and Administrative staff. , This full day course is an interactive day ... will expose your staff to regenerative medicine procedures and processing techniques, and facility ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/7/2018)... , ... August 06, 2018 , ... ... and diagnostics companies, announces the placement of Dr. Paul Harney as President, North ... North America growth strategy and enhancing client satisfaction. He was also named to ...
(Date:7/31/2018)... ... July 31, 2018 , ... Leading regenerative veterinary medicine ... extracting and using adipose tissue-derived stem cells to treat or prevent inflammation at ... patent covers Canada specifically, VetStem has been issued similar patents that cover the ...
(Date:7/27/2018)... ... July 27, 2018 , ... ... Group (BRAG®) and representatives of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) met with ... white paper, “Proposal for a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory Representation ...
(Date:7/25/2018)... GENEVA, Wis. (PRWEB) , ... July 25, 2018 ... ... impact of a biofield energy treated proprietary nutraceutical to combat inflammation and autoimmune ... as well as, immune function response. The following data was reported:, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: