Allozyme variation in African elephant (Loxodonta africana) from the Kruger National Park, South Africa

Author: E.M. Coetzee, F.H. van der Bank and M. Greyling
Year: 1999
Issue: 3
Volume: 29
Page: 214 - 221

Genetic variation within and differentiation between juvenile and adult elephants (Loxodonta africana) culled during April 1992 and May 1993 were compared to determine the effect of culling on successive generations. Gene products of 25 protein-coding loci were examined by horizontal starch gel-electrophoresis as well as polyacrylamide gel-electrophoresis. Eighteen protein-coding loci (72%) in 1992 and 19 (76%) in 1993 displayed monomorphic gel-banding patterns whereas only seven in 1992 and six in 1993 were polymorphic. Average heterozygosity values for adults, juveniles and the total population in 1992 were 0.058, 0.024 and 0.047 respectively. Lower values (0.037, 0.021 and 0.033 respectively) were obtained for different family group sin the present study and statistically significant (p < 0.05) similarities were found between allele distributions at four of the eight polymorphic loci of the two elephant populations. This study confirmed the result of the previous study and new information is presented on variation at an additional locus. The data will be valuable to investigate new means of controlling elephant populations effectively without losing genetic variation.

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