Phylogenetic analysis of elephants for assessment of their susceptibility to extinction and its impact on ecosystem
Garg, Abhishek D. and Hippargi, Rajshekhar V. (2006) Phylogenetic analysis of elephants for assessment of their susceptibility to extinction and its impact on ecosystem. In: Seminar on Environmental Conservation - Students Prespective, 3 Oct 2006, Amravati, India.
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Global warming and environmental degradation has started influencing the genetic evolution of flora and fauna. We need to identify the factors responsible for this upheaval. Phylogenetic analysis of an animal in a particular habitat has been recognized as an important part of environmental conservation, recently. Phylogenetic relationship between African elephant, Asian elephant and woolly mammoth has recently become a matter of debate. Since elephants have a high impact on their ecosystem, we decided to resolve this phylogeny amongst elephants. Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA and its products using BIO-neighbor joining and maximum parsimony methods coupled with restriction mapping of mtDNA, led us to conclusion that African elephant was a closer relative of mammoth. This relationship with an extinct animal may also make African elephants more prone to extinction. Phylogenetics can have profound applications in environmental conservation for avoiding population bottleneck and decline in genetic diversity.
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