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Genetic variability in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus)

August 1, 1988

Tissue was obtained from 59 manatee (Trichechus manatus) carcasses salvaged from 20 counties in Florida. Allozyme phenotypes at 24 structural loci were determined by gel electrophoresis. Averages for the proportion of polymorphic loci and mean heterozygosity were 0.300 (range, 0.167-0.417) and 0.050 (range, 0.028-0.063), respectively. These estimates are equivalent to or higher than those generally reported for other species of marine mammals and do not support the hypothesis that body size and heterozygosity in mammals are related inversely. Among-region gene diversity accounted for only 4% of the total diversity. High rates of gene flow probably account for genetic homogeneity across regions. An F-statistic analysis revealed a general tendency toward excess homozygosity within regions. Management efforts to prevent future reductions in population size that would erode existing genic diversity should continue.

Publication Year 1988
Title Genetic variability in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus)
DOI 10.2307/1381339
Authors Leroy R. McClenaghan, Thomas J. O'Shea
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Mammalogy
Index ID 70122686
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse