Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beetles To Be Used To Show Consequences Of Inbreeding

Date:
May 26, 2009
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
They are cursed the world over for contaminating food supplies and are a huge commercial pest, but the humble flour beetle is about to play a significant role in the management of endangered species. The flour beetle -- or Tribolium castaneum -- will be the model in a major new study into the consequences of inbreeding.

They are cursed the world over for contaminating food supplies and are a huge commercial pest, but the humble flour beetle is about to play a significant role in the management of endangered species.

The flour beetle – or Tribolium castaneum – will be the model in a major new study into the consequences of inbreeding, launched at the University of East Anglia (UEA) this summer.

Inbreeding is a potentially important problem in declining species across the world, and conserving genetic variation is now recognised as a priority by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

When populations become isolated or depleted due to loss of habitat or exploitation, the gene pool is reduced which forces inbreeding between relatives, and therefore losses in genetic variability. This results in the increased expression of ‘bad genes’ which were previously hidden in a variable genome, leading to a range of problems usually associated with reproduction. This inbreeding depression then adds to the habitat loss or exploitation problems, further driving a population towards extinction.

Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the 400,000 project will experimentally evaluate which specific reproductive traits are affected by inbreeding, and how they impact on population viability. Once inbreeding depression and its causes are discovered, the project will determine how much new variability must be re-introduced to genetically rescue an inbred population from extinction.

The results of the three-year study will help managers of conservation and captive breeding projects recognise when inbreeding is a problem, how it progresses, and how best to manage or reverse it.

“When a species is under threat, it is difficult to be sure whether inbreeding or other stresses are responsible for declines in numbers,” said Dr Matthew Gage of UEA’s School of Biological Sciences.

“Our previous work on wild rabbits in the natural environment implicates sperm as being sensitive to inbreeding. However, these large-scale experimental trials in the laboratory will shed new light on the relative importance of inbreeding as a conservation concern, identify which traits are most sensitive, and therefore could help us recognise populations under threat of inbreeding and manage their recovery.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Beetles To Be Used To Show Consequences Of Inbreeding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519075852.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2009, May 26). Beetles To Be Used To Show Consequences Of Inbreeding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519075852.htm
University of East Anglia. "Beetles To Be Used To Show Consequences Of Inbreeding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519075852.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins