Conservation Genetics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 319–323

High levels of genetic divergence between Tasmanian and Victorian platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, as revealed by microsatellite loci

  • Elise Furlan
  • Paul A. Umina
  • Paul J. Mitrovski
  • Nick Gust
  • Josh Griffiths
  • Andrew R. Weeks
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s10592-009-0012-0

Cite this article as:
Furlan, E., Umina, P.A., Mitrovski, P.J. et al. Conserv Genet (2010) 11: 319. doi:10.1007/s10592-009-0012-0

Abstract

The platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus is a unique, iconic mammal endemic to Australia. Despite being listed as ‘common’ throughout its range, platypus abundance is poorly understood. Dependence on aquatic habitats in Australia renders this species potentially vulnerable to a variety of processes including drought, climate change and habitat loss. To assist with understanding population processes, 180 individuals from Tasmania and Victoria were characterised across thirteen microsatellite loci. Large genetic differences were evident between Tasmanian and Victorian O. anatinus. Within Tasmania, high levels of allelic diversity were detected with genetic differentiation identified among some populations. Similarly, allelic diversity was high within Victorian platypuses, along with significant genetic differentiation among populations. The large genetic differences found between Tasmanian and mainland platypuses indicate long-term isolation and it is likely that the lack of past/present catchment connectedness contributes to differentiation found between populations within these regions. Understanding patterns of genetic differentiation within and between catchments will help guide future conservation management decisions for platypus.

Keywords

Platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus Microsatellite Population structure 

Supplementary material

10592_2009_12_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (183 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 182 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elise Furlan
    • 1
  • Paul A. Umina
    • 1
  • Paul J. Mitrovski
    • 1
  • Nick Gust
    • 2
  • Josh Griffiths
    • 2
  • Andrew R. Weeks
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research, Departments of Genetics and ZoologyThe University of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Primary Industries and Water HobartResource Management & Conservation DivisionTasmaniaAustralia

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