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Open Access Population Genetic Structure of the Cayo Santiago Colony of Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

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The rhesus macaque population at Cayo Santiago increases annually and is in urgent need of control. In-depth assessments of the colony's population genetic and pedigree structures provide a starting point for improving the colony's long-term management program. We evaluated the degree of genetic variation and coefficients of inbreeding and kinship of the Cayo Santiago colony by using pedigree and short tandem repeat (STR) data from 4738 rhesus macaques, which represent 7 extant social groups and a group of migrant males. Information on each animal's parentage, sex, birth date, and date of death or removal from the island were used to generate estimates of mean kinship, kinship value, gene value, genome uniqueness (GU), founder equivalents (fe), and founder genome equivalents (fg). Pedigree and STR analyses revealed that the social groups have not differentiated genetically from each other due to male-mediated gene flow (that is, FST estimates were in the negative range) and exhibit sufficient genetic variation, with mean estimates of allele numbers and observed and expected heterozygosity of 6.57, 0.72, and 0.70, respectively. Estimates of GU, fe, and fg show that a high effective number of founders has affected the colony's current genetic structure in a positive manner. As demographic changes occur, genetic and pedigree matrices need to be monitored consistently to ensure the health and wellbeing of the Cayo Santiago colony.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, California, School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Arizona State University (ASU) at the West Campus, Glendale, Arizona, Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona;, Email: [email protected] 2: School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Arizona State University (ASU) at the West Campus, Glendale, Arizona, Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 3: California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, California 4: Caribbean Primate Research Center and Departments of Microbiology and Medical Zoology and Internal Medicine, University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico 5: Caribbean Primate Research Center and Departments of Microbiology and Medical Zoology and Internal Medicine, Departments of Microbiology and Medical Zoology and Internal Medicine, University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Publication date: 01 July 2017

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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