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dc.contributor.authorBulgarella, Mariana
dc.date.accessioned2018-08-07T01:37:52Z
dc.date.available2018-08-07T01:37:52Z
dc.date.issued2010
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11122/9072
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2010
dc.description.abstractTolerance to high-altitude hypoxia in animals varies widely and is a key factor in determining survival at high elevation. The Andean Cordillera of South America, which spans large elevational and latitudinal gradients, enables the study of native highland populations and the characteristics of hemoglobin proteins that are locally adapted for high-altitude respiration. The waterfowl populations of South America are understudied, little data on demographics and behavior are currently available, and only recently have they been investigated using molecular tools. We studied population genetics, phylogeography, and ecogeographic variation in the crested duck ( Lophonetta specularioides). The crested duck is a dabbling duck, and it comprises two subspecies endemic to highland and lowland regions of South America. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the genetic differentiation between highland and lowlands populations of crested ducks using molecular markers with varying modes of inheritance and rates of substitution. The second objective was to evaluate morphological differences between the subspecies to better understand the forces shaping morphology in the two different environments. A third objective was to provide additional information on the taxonomic relationships and natural history of the crested duck. First, we examined the population genetics of the three adult hemoglobins (alphaD, alphaA, betaA), six autosomal introns, and mtDNA. This multi-locus analysis revealed a significant pattern of differentiation between highland and lowland populations. Four hemoglobin amino acid replacements were found in crested duck that may play a role in influencing high-altitude respiration. The lack of evidence for gene flow for hemoglobin alleles between highland and lowland populations and the biochemical properties of the amino acid substitutions themselves are consistent with the effects of selection acting on these loci. Overall body size was larger for the highland subspecies, body size was intermediate in mid-elevation environments, and smaller individuals were found in the lowlands of Patagonia. We also performed a multi-locus phylogenetic analysis to determine the relationships of Lophonetta within the South American duck clade. Finally, we determined the proportion of genes expressed in bone marow of adult crested duck finding mostly genes related to hemopoietic and immune function.
dc.subjectGenetics
dc.subjectEcology
dc.subjectZoology
dc.titleEcogeographic, Adaptive, And Phylogenetic Variations In The Crested Duck (Lophonetta Specularioides) And Their Hemoglobins In The Andes
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.degreephd
dc.identifier.departmentBiology and Wildlife Department
dc.contributor.chairMcCracken, Kevin
dc.contributor.committeeTakebayashi, Naoki
dc.contributor.committeeTubaro, Pablo L.
dc.contributor.committeeWinker, Kevin S.
refterms.dateFOA2020-03-05T16:56:15Z


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