Indian Tigers’ Genetic Diversity: Population Faces Extinction For Lack Of DNA Variety

Posted by Robyn, May 24, 2013

tigerAs researchers have previously warned, Tigers in India may be a little too close for comfort — when it comes to their DNA, anyway.

A new study from Cardiff University has researchers concerned that Indian tigers face extinction because of a lack of “genetic diversity.”

Partnering with India’s National Center for Biological Sciences, researchers compared current DNA samples from tigers on the Indian subcontinent to genetic data obtained during the time of the British Raj, a period of British rule in India from 1858 to 1947. They found that 93 percent of the tiger DNA variants from that historical period are no longer present in the current tiger population.

“This is due to loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation, meaning lower population sizes, and the prevention of tigers from dispersing as they once would have, which means their gene pool is no longer mixing across the subcontinent,” Mike Bruford, a professor at the Cardiff School of Biosciences, explained to the BBC.

via Indian Tigers’ Genetic Diversity: Population Faces Extinction For Lack Of DNA Variety, Study Says.