The Promise and Practicality of Population Genomics Research with Endangered Species
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- Perry, G.H. Int J Primatol (2014) 35: 55. doi:10.1007/s10764-013-9702-z
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Recent technological advances have dramatically reduced the cost of DNA sequencing. In addition, these methods require lower DNA quantities and qualities than did the previous generation of molecular techniques. As a result, genomic-scale studies of natural populations of endangered species, including those using noninvasively collected samples, are increasingly feasible. Such studies have the potential to advance our understanding of behavior, demography, evolutionary ecology, biogeography, and population history, and to contribute to the prioritization of conservation efforts. I point to a number of salient examples. However, there are also some current limitations and challenges associated with this scale of population genomics research in nonhuman, nonmodel species. Here, I describe the practicalities of the present state of this research while providing what is intended to be a straightforward walkthrough of the technology and methods involved.