Title page for ETD etd-31498-17523

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Duvernell, David D. II
Author's Email Address dduverne@vt.edu
URN etd-31498-17523
Title Population Genetics of Death Valley Pupfishes (Cyprinodontidae:Cyprinodon Spp.) and the Identification of a New Retrotransposable Element Family
Degree PhD
Department Biology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Turner, Bruce J. Committee Chair
Hallerman, Eric M. Committee Member
Lederman, Muriel L. Committee Member
McDaniels, Carl O. Committee Member
Wallace, Bruce Committee Member
West, David A. Committee Member
  • effective population size
  • evolutionarily significant units
  • transposable elements
Date of Defense 1998-03-24
Availability unrestricted
Study of the genetic relationships and evolutionary

histories of pupfish populations (Cyprinodontidae:

Cyprinodon spp.) from the remnant aquatic habitats of Death

Valley was approached by exploring the genetic structure and

divergence within and among populations using mitochondrial

and nuclear DNA markers. The findings of these studies

illustrate the influences of population size and isolation

time in the divergence of small, fragmented populations

largely via genetic drift. The information revealed in this

study has implications for assessing priorities in the

conservation of the unique evolutionary heritage among

populations of the Death Valley pupfishes.

A new retrotransposable element family was identified and

characterized. This family of genetic elements was uncovered

during a search of the pupfish genome for transposable

elements to be used as molecular markers for population

analyses. The description of this element family, named

"Swimmer 1" (SW1), provides new insights into the evolution

of long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) in vertebrates.

Therefore, a full characterization of the SW1 element family

was undertaken in the Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) as

well as in the pupfish genome. The Japanese medaka is a

model organism widely used for genetic and developmental

biology studies.

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