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Optimization of protocols for DNA extraction from fecal samples

High-throughput sequencing offers new possibilities in molecular ecology and conservation studies. However, its potential has not yet become fully exploited for noninvasive studies of free–ranging animals, such as those based on feces. High–throughput sequencing allows sequencing of short DNA fragments and could allow simultaneous genotyping of a very large number of samples and markers at a low cost. The application of high throughput genotyping to fecal samples from wildlife has been hindered by several labor intensive steps. Alternative protocols which could allow higher throughput were evaluated for two of these steps: sample collection and DNA extraction. Two different field sampling and seven different DNA extraction methods were tested on grey wolf (Canis lupus) feces. There was high variation in genotyping success rates. The field sampling method based on surface swabbing performed much worse than the extraction from a fecal fragment. In addition, there is a lot of room for improvement in the DNA extraction step. Optimization of protocols can lead to very much more efficient, cheaper and higher throughput noninvasive monitoring. Selection of appropriate markers is still of paramount importance to increase genotyping success. informacion[at] Sarabia et al (2020) Towards high-throughput analyses of fecal samples from wildlife. Animal Biodiver Conserv 43.2: 271–283 Doi 10.32800/abc.2020.43.0271
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Anidación esporádica descubre la colonización exitosa de nuevas zonas por la tortuga boba

Anidación esporádica descubre la colonización exitosa de nuevas zonas por la tortuga boba

The colonisation of new suitable habitats is crucial for species survival at evolutionary scale under changing environmental conditions. However, colonisation potential may be limited by philopatry that facilitates exploiting successful habitats across generations. This study examined the mechanisms of long distance dispersal of the philopatric loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) by analysing 40 sporadic nesting events in the western Mediterranean. The analysis of a fragment of the mitochondrial DNA and 7 microsatellites of 121 samples from 18 of these nesting events revealed that these nests were colonising events associated with juveniles from distant populations feeding in nearby foraging grounds. Considering the temperature-dependent sex determination of the species, the effect of the incubation temperature and propagule pressure on a potential colonisation scenario was simulated. Results indicated that colonisation will succeed if warm temperature conditions, already existing in some of the beaches in the area, extend to the whole western Mediterranean. The sporadic nesting events in developmental foraging grounds may be a mechanism to overcome philopatry limitations thus increasing the dispersal capabilities of the species and the adaptability to changing environments. Sporadic nesting in the western Mediterranean can be viewed as potential new populations in a scenario of rising temperatures. informacion[at] Carreras et al (2018) Sporadic nesting reveals long distance colonisation in the philopatric loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). Scientific Reports Doi 10.1038/s41598-018-19887-w