Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic diversity of the panda immune system

Date:
October 21, 2013
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
The genetic diversity within the immune system of giant panda is relatively high, according to an analysis that suggests they may be better suited to adapt to the changing environment than was previously thought. Scientists categorize the remaining six populations of giant panda according to their genetic diversity and recommend specific populations that could be bred in captivity in order to keep the population healthy.

Giant panda. Results of this genetic analysis showed that the giant panda has relatively high levels of genetic diversity in comparison to other endangered species, meaning they may be able to cope better than expected to a changing environment.
Credit: Ying Zhu, Qiu-Hong Wan, Bin Yu, Yun-Fa Ge and Sheng-Guo Fang

The genetic diversity within the immune system of giant panda is relatively high, according to an analysis in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. The work suggests they may be better suited to adapt to the changing environment than was previously thought. Scientists categorise the remaining six populations of giant panda according to their genetic diversity and recommend specific populations that could be bred in captivity in order to keep the population healthy.

Researchers are concerned with how genetic variation can be maintained within populations of endangered species, especially within small isolated populations such as the giant panda in China. The giant panda is an endangered species and the current number of wild pandas is only about 1500. Analysing genes that evolve in response to environmental pressures can help researchers understand a species' ability to adapt, and how they might be conserved. In this new article researchers report on an analysis of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, those which are involved in the immune system, in the giant panda.

The assumption is that a decrease in genetic variation and a lack of exchange between isolated populations increase the likelihood of extinction by reducing the population's ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. However, the results of this genetic analysis showed that the giant panda has relatively high levels of genetic diversity in the MHC genes in comparison to other endangered species, meaning they may be able to cope better with a changing environment.

The results also allowed the group to recommend giant panda populations that could be targeted for captive breeding programme based on their genetic diversity. This analysis could have strong implications for maintaining genetic diversity whilst conserving the giant panda both in the wild and in captivity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ying Zhu, Qiu-Hong Wan, Bin Yu, Yun-Fa Ge and Sheng-Guo Fang. Patterns of genetic differentiation at MHC class I genes and microsatellites identify conservation units in the giant panda. BMC Evolutionary Biology, October 2013

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Genetic diversity of the panda immune system." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021211607.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2013, October 21). Genetic diversity of the panda immune system. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021211607.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Genetic diversity of the panda immune system." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021211607.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) 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