Genetic Variation of a Local American Kestrel Population

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Student Presentation

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Julie Heath


Genetic analysis and genotyping of wildlife populations provides molecular markers to answer ecological questions. For example, genetic diversity on a population level allows for adaptation and population change over time and individual heterozygosity may be indicative of fitness (survival or reproduction). We examined microsatellites of American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) in South Boise, Nampa and Caldwell area. We extracted DNA from blood samples of adult American Kestrels, amplified the DNA in PCR, and ran the products through gel electrophoresis. We looked at six microsatellite regions to score alleles and whether that Kestrel is homozygous or heterozygous for that allele. Results from this study will be useful for understanding genetic diversity within a local population of kestrels.

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