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 30, 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 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) 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