Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unique frog helps amphibian conservation efforts

Date:
March 14, 2011
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
A tropical frog -- the only one of its kind in the world -- is providing conservationists with exclusive insights into the genetic make-up of its closest endangered relatives.

The A.annae/A.moreletii hybrid frog.
Credit: Copyright A. Gray

A tropical frog -- the only one of its kind in the world -- is providing conservationists with exclusive insights into the genetic make-up of its closest endangered relatives.

University of Manchester scientists have allowed two critically endangered species of Central American Leaf frogs to interbreed, producing the unique frog -- a hybrid of the two species. DNA tests using a harmless mouth swab showed that the two parent frogs were actually very closely related despite being different species.

The findings are important because DNA tests on frogs of the same species but from different geographical areas have revealed considerable genetic differences. The scientists therefore suggest that conservation efforts should not only focus on each endangered species of frog but also on different populations of the same frog species.

"Almost a third of the world's amphibians are threatened with extinction, so it is imperative that we identify distinct populations of critically endangered species before they are lost forever," said Andrew Gray, Curator of Herpetology at the University's Manchester Museum.

"Through allowing interbreeding, and using DNA samples taken from the frogs' mouth, this work investigates the amount of variation both between and within species. More importantly, it is helping determine where conservation efforts should be concentrated and highlighting that some populations of critically endangered amphibians are in desperate need of further protection."

In the past, an animal's appearance, including its coloration, defined it. But phylogenetics -- the study of evolutionary relatedness of species through genetics -- is becoming increasingly important in helping biologists identify separate species in need of conservation.

The unique Leaf frog, which is maintained at the Manchester Museum, was bred from the two species Agalychnis annae, from Costa Rica and Panama, and Agalychnis moreletii, which is found in humid highland tropical forests ranging from southern Mexico to central Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize.

"Allowing the interbreeding of amphibians has proven particularly useful in providing evidence for the inheritance of genes, including certain color pattern traits," said Andrew. "The study has shown that the two species used to produce the hybrid frog are extremely closely related. However, they should continue to be considered as separate, both for classification and conservation purposes.

"It is also important to recognize the levels of variation in distinct populations of other closely related species. If conservation is our prime objective, it follows that separate populations of the same species should also be conserved for the future as distinct entities and future studies should focus on assessing the levels of variation in the different populations of these wonderful creatures."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew Gray. Notes on Hybridization in Leaf frogs of the genus Agalychnis (Anura, Hylidae, Phyllomedusinae). arXiv, 2011; [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Unique frog helps amphibian conservation efforts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110307065543.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2011, March 14). Unique frog helps amphibian conservation efforts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110307065543.htm
University of Manchester. "Unique frog helps amphibian conservation efforts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110307065543.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New USDA measures to regulate dog imports aim to crack down on buying dogs from overseas puppy mills. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) Researchers performed an experiment using an FDA-approved drug known as ruxolitinib. They found it to be successful in the majority of patients. Video provided by Newsy
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