Zoological Studies

Vol. 56, 2017

(update: 2017.5.2)

Analysis on Genetic Diversity of Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) in the Greater Khingan Mountains Using Microsatellite Markers

Jian-Cheng Zhai1, Wei-Shi Liu1, Ya-Jie Yin2, Yan-Ling Xia1, and He-Ping Li1,*

1College of Wildlife Resources, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China. E-mail: zhaijc@nefu.edu.cn; liuweishi@nefu.edu.cn; xiayanling@nefu.edu.cn
2College of Bioengineering, Daqing Normal University, Daqing 163712, China. Email: niecy1978@dqsy.net

(Received 5 November 2016; Accepted 25 April 2017)

Jian-Cheng Zhai, Wei-Shi Liu, Ya-Jie Yin, Yan-Ling Xia, and He-Ping Li (2017) The only population of reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) in China, herded extensively by the Ewenki people, is the most southern population in the world. Genetic diversity plays a key role in the survival of endangered reindeer. To systematically understand the genetic variability of reindeer in China, 163 individuals from 8 populations were analyzed using 11 microsatellite loci. A total of 85 alleles were detected and the average number of alleles per locus was 7.7. The observed heterozygosity and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.3736 to 0.5299 and from 0.6491 to 0.7608. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium analysis indicated that a deficiency of heterozygotes existed in all eight populations. Both the FST and AMOVA analyses showed a low level of genetic differentiation among populations. UPGMA dendrogram revealed that population SYL formed one cluster, separating from the other populations. Then the GWQ and YSH populations formed another cluster and clustered with the BDX, BLJY, DML, DW and MLYS populations. Increasing the current exchange rate of reindeer among different populations and establishing natural reserve may be the effective approaches to conserve the fragile reindeer populations in China.

Key words: Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), Genetic variability, Microsatellite markers, Genetic diversity, Genetic differentiation.

Correspondence: Jian-Cheng Zhai and Wei-Shi Liu contribute equally to this work. Tel: 0451-82190389. E-mail: lihepinghrb2002@nefu.edu.cn