Population and genetic diversity of Tibetan red deer based on fecal DNA
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The Tibet Shannan Red Deer Nature Reserve is the center of the geographic distribution of Tibetan red deer. This paper presents the results of DNA analysis of 199 red deer fecal pellet groups collected during 2013 and 2014 during the green-plant period. We successfully extracted DNA from 87 DNA pellet groups and determined individual identification with 12 microsatellite loci. We evaluated the genetic diversity of the population and various population estimates with Capwire in R software. The 87 successfully extracted pellet groups were from 50 individuals. In the population, the average number of alleles was 7.58 ± 0.18, the average effective number of alleles was 4.58 ± 0.15, and average polymorphism information content was 0.67 ± 0.01. Among the 12 loci, only T123 was moderately polymorphic; the other 11 loci were highly polymorphic. Expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.45 to 0.91, with an average of 0.72 ± 0.01, and average observed heterozygosity was 0.52 ± 0.11. Although Tibetan red deer remains endangered, the high genetic diversity indicates that this population has a good chance of recovery. This study provided insight that could be used by the local forestry department to develop programs to protect Tibetan red deer.