Subject: Genetic tagging: contemporary molecular ecology - Abstract from The Biol. J. of the Lin

Mike Williamson (
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 14:44:11 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 16:20:06 +0100
From: "Per J. Palsboll" <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: Genetic tagging: contemporary molecular ecology - Abstract from              The Biol. J. of the Linn Soc.

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (1999), 68: 3=9622. With 4 figu=

Molecular genetics in animal ecology. Edited by P. A. Racey, P. J. Bacon,
J. F. Dallas and S. B. Piertney

Genetic tagging: contemporary molecular ecology


Unit of Evolutionary Genetics, Department of Molecular Biology, Free
University of Brussels,
CP 244 Boulevard du Triomphe, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium; and School of
Biological Sciences, University of Wales Bangor, Deiniol Road, Bangor,
Gwynedd LL57 2UW

Population genetic analyses have been highly successful in deciphering
inter- and intra-specific evolutionary relationships, levels of gene flow=
genetic divergence and effective
population sizes. Parameters estimated by traditional population genetic
analyses are evolu-tionary averages and thus not necessarily relevant for
contemporary ecological or conservation issues. Molecular data can,
however, also provide insight into contemporary patterns of divergence,
population size and gene flow when a sufficient number of variable loci a=
analysed to focus subsequent data analyses on individuals rather than
populations. Genetic tagging of individuals is an example of such
individual-based approaches and recent studies have shown it to be a viab=
alternative to traditional tagging methods. Owing to the
ubiquitous presence of hyper-variable DNA sequences in eukaryote genomes =
is in principle possible to tag any eukaryote species and the required DN=
can be obtained indirectly from substrates such as faeces, sloughed skin
and hair. The purpose of this paper is to present the concept of genetic
tagging and to further advocate the extension of individual-based genetic
analyses beyond the identification of individuals to other kinds of
relationships, such as parent-offspring relations, which more fully explo=
the genetic nature of the data.

Requests for reprints -- see below
Per J. Palsboll

Lecturer in Zoological Ecology
Associate Editor for Moelcular Ecology

School of Biological Sciences
University of Wales Bangor
Deiniol Road
Gwynedd LL57 2UW, United Kingdom

Direct phone/fax     +44 (01248) 38 22 96/38 28 25

Cetacean Genetics Laboratory Home Page           =20

Molecular Ecology Home Page:=20

Office:                   Brambell, 4th floor, room E26
Laboratory:            Brambell, 4th floor, room E27.