The conservation value of admixed phenotypes in a critically endangered species complex

Sadanandan, Keren R and Low, Gabriel W and Sridharan, Sheeraja and Chyi, Yin Gwee and Ng, Elize X.Y and Yuda, Ign. Pramana and Prawiradilaga, Dewi M. and Lee, Jessica G.H and Tritto, Anais and Rheindt, Frank E. (2020) The conservation value of admixed phenotypes in a critically endangered species complex. Scientific Reports, 10 (15549). ISSN 2045-2322

Text (Keren R. Sadanandan, Gabriel W. Low, Sheeraja Sridharan, Chyi Yin Gwee, Elize Y. X. Ng, Pramana Yuda, Dewi M. Prawiradilaga, Jessica G. H. Lee, Anaïs Tritto & Frank E. Rheindt)
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In today’s environmental crisis, conservationists are increasingly confronted with terminally endangered species whose last few surviving populations may be afected by allelic introgression from closely related species. Yet there is a worrying lack of evidence-based recommendations and solutions for this emerging problem. We analyzed genome-wide DNA markers and plumage variability in a critically endangered insular songbird, the Black-winged Myna (BWM, Acridotheres melanopterus). This species is highly threatened by the illegal wildlife trade, with its wild population numbering in the low hundreds, and its continued survival urgently depending on ex-situ breeding. Its three subspecies occur along a geographic gradient of melanism and are variably interpreted as three species. However, our integrative approach revealed that melanism poorly relects the pattern of limited genomic diferentiation across BWM subspecies. We also uncovered allelic introgression into the most melanistic subspecies, tertius, from the all-black congeneric Javan Myna (A. javanicus), which is native to the same islands. Based on our results, we recommend the establishment of three separate breeding programs to maintain subspeciic traits that may confer local adaptation, but with the option of occasional cross-breeding between insurance populations in order to boost genetic diversity and increase overall viability prospects of each breeding program. Our results underscore the importance of evidence-based integrative approaches when determining appropriate conservation units. Given the rapid increase of terminally endangered organisms in need of ex-situ conservation, this study provides an important blueprint for similar programs dealing with phenotypically variable species.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Teknobiologi > Tekno Lingkungan
Divisions: Fakultas Teknobiologi > Biologi
Depositing User: Editor UAJY
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2021 09:11
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2021 09:11

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