Population genomics of North American grey wolves (Canis lupus)

  • Author / Creator
    Knowles, James
  • Previous studies of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) using microsatellites have showed strong population structure despite the high mobility of individuals. I re-assessed the structure of North American grey wolves by genotyping 132 wolves at a genome-wide set of >26 000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and found less population structure, a strong pattern of isolation by distance, and determined that gene flow between subpopulations relates to prey specialization. To assess how accurately smaller data sets assign individuals, I analyzed sub-sets of SNPs and found that small marker sets varied greatly in estimates of subpopulation assignment, and showed high discordance with assignments determined when using all 26k markers. Finally, using a genome scan to detect natural selection I identified SNPs in three genes that may have undergone directional selection, contain variation with observed phenotypic consequences in other mammal species and may be related to adaptation in grey wolves.

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  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
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    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.