Conservation Genetics Resources

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 527–536 | Cite as

Guidelines for collecting and maintaining archives for genetic monitoring

  • Jennifer A. Jackson
  • Linda Laikre
  • C. Scott Baker
  • Katherine C. Kendall
  • The Genetic Monitoring Working Group
Technical Review


Rapid advances in molecular genetic techniques and the statistical analysis of genetic data have revolutionized the way that populations of animals, plants and microorganisms can be monitored. Genetic monitoring is the practice of using molecular genetic markers to track changes in the abundance, diversity or distribution of populations, species or ecosystems over time, and to follow adaptive and non-adaptive genetic responses to changing external conditions. In recent years, genetic monitoring has become a valuable tool in conservation management of biological diversity and ecological analysis, helping to illuminate and define cryptic and poorly understood species and populations. Many of the detected biodiversity declines, changes in distribution and hybridization events have helped to drive changes in policy and management. Because a time series of samples is necessary to detect trends of change in genetic diversity and species composition, archiving is a critical component of genetic monitoring. Here we discuss the collection, development, maintenance, and use of archives for genetic monitoring. This includes an overview of the genetic markers that facilitate effective monitoring, describes how tissue and DNA can be stored, and provides guidelines for proper practice.


Conservation Museum DNA Biodiversity Molecular markers Biological collections 



This work was conducted as part of the Genetic Monitoring (GeM) Working Group jointly supported by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NSF #EF-0423641) and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, a center funded by NSF (NSF #EF-0553768), the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the State of California. L.L. also acknowledges the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) under grant agreement No 217246 made with BONUS, the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer A. Jackson
    • 1
    • 6
  • Linda Laikre
    • 2
  • C. Scott Baker
    • 3
    • 4
  • Katherine C. Kendall
    • 5
  • The Genetic Monitoring Working Group
  1. 1.Marine Mammal InstituteOregon State UniversityNewportUSA
  2. 2.Division of Population Genetics, Department of ZoologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Marine Mammal Institute and Department of Fisheries and WildlifeOregon State UniversityNewportUSA
  4. 4.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  5. 5.US Geological SurveyNorthern Rocky Mountain Science CenterGlacier National Park, West GlacierUSA
  6. 6.British Antarctic SurveyCambridgeUK

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