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Home » Archive » 2016

TDK conference 2016

Analysing the genetic variance in the Hungarian buzzard (Buteoninae) population
Bóka Gabriella - year 4
University of Veterinary Medicine, Institute for Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science
Supervisor: Dr. Petra Zenke

Abstract:

There are an increasing number of studies researching endangered species, including endangered bird species. Due to climate change and anthropogenic activities the habitat range of some populations is changing and so called contact zones are formed due to the migration of bird species. Hybridization between buzzards in nature has been documented in Hungary in some instances, since – based on the Hubbs principle – if one parent species is abundant and the other is rare in a given area, the rare is likely to mate with the heterospecific species.

Our research was prompted by the species classification problem of a hybrid buzzard, which based on morphological characteristics was likely to be a hybrid of the common buzzard and the long-legged buzzard. Our goal – besides surveying the genetic variance of Hungarian buzzards - was to support this hypothesis via genetic methods.

We collected thirty blood- and feather samples from the following Falconiform bird species of Bird Hospital of Hortobágy: 1 hybrid buzzard, 21 common buzzard, 1 long-legged buzzard,1 Eurasian sparrowhawk, 1 Western marsh harrier, 1 Levant sparrowhawk, 1 common kestrel, 1 red-footed falcon, 1 Eurasian hobby, and 1 griffon vulture. We examined the gene of the cytochrome c oxidase (CO1) coded in the mitochondrial DNA to determine species specific variances (point mutations). We assessed the genetic variance of the birds via the examination of six autosomal microsatellite (STR) markers.

We compared the results of the sequence analysis of the mitochondrial CO1 gene both with our other samples and with gene bank reference data to map possible species classifications. During our microsatellite examinations we tested pattern-related differences in difference allele sizes of the Hungarian species and started the population genetic survey of the Hungarian Buteoninae birds. Furthermore, our research initiated the DNA based identification of birds, which has important applications in gene preservation, illegal trade and sparentage control as well.



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