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Gene transcript profiling in desert bighorn sheep

March 31, 2020

Respiratory disease is a key factor affecting the conservation and recovery of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis ) populations. Innovative, minimally invasive tools such as gene transcription–based diagnostics have the potential to improve our understanding of the broad range of factors that can affect the health of wild sheep. Evaluation of transcript levels for genes representative of multiple internal systems enables measurement of physiological responses of individuals as well as populations to environmental stressors such as pathogens, nutritional deficiency, or contaminants. We developed real‐time polymerase chain reaction assays for 14 genes of interest representing systems including inflammation, cell signaling, detoxification, antiviral, antibacterial, or general stress. Initial results from desert bighorn sheep (O. c. nelsoni ) sampled from the River, Muddy, and Bare mountains as well as from the Pintwater Range, in southern Nevada, USA, indicated unique transcript profiles associated with each population. This initial study provides the framework from which controlled variable or longitudinal studies can be made, thus augmenting the potential to inform management actions in the future.

Publication Year 2020
Title Gene transcript profiling in desert bighorn sheep
DOI 10.1002/wsb.1078
Authors Lizabeth Bowen, Kathleen Longshore, Peregrine Wolff, Robert C. Klinger, Mike Cox, Sarah Bullock, Shannon C. Waters, A. Keith Miles
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Wildlife Society Bulletin
Index ID 70211959
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center