Low genetic diversity and inbreeding depression in Queensland koalas

  title={Low genetic diversity and inbreeding depression in Queensland koalas},
  author={Jessica Worthington Wilmer and Alistair Melzer and Frank N. Carrick and Craig C Moritz},
  journal={Wildlife Research},
The amount of genetic variation in two natural populations of Queensland koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus adustus) was assessed by analysis of mitochondrial DNA. Levels and any adverse effects of inbreeding (inbreeding depression) were estimated from the pedigree of a well-characterised captive colony. Genetic diversity of mitochondrial DNA was found to be exceedingly low both within and between the two populations, but the variation detected was found to be strongly structured geographically… 

Conservation genetics of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus): low mitochondrial DNA variation amongst southern Australian populations.

The mtDNA data are consistent with the interpretation that the koala translocation programme has homogenized gene frequencies amongst those populations involved, and South Gippsland is not recorded as having received translocated koalas directly, and has significantly different mtDNA-RFLP haplotype frequencies from all other populations examined.

Genetic diversity and gene flow among southeastern Queensland koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)

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Low levels of allelic diversity and differentiation at nuclear loci between populations paralleled known recent population history, except for the close relationship between Mt Lofty Ranges and French Is, are of concern when evaluating the long-term conservation and viability of the South Australian koala populations, which may benefit from genetic augmentation in the future.

Low genetic variability of the koala Phascolarctos cinereus in south‐eastern Australia following a severe population bottleneck

The significantly lower levels of variation between south‐eastern Australian populations suggests that human intervention has had a severe effect on levels of genetic diversity in this region, and this may have long‐term genetic consequences.

Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) From Queensland Are Genetically Distinct From 2 Populations in Victoria.

Queensland koalas displayed high mitochondrial haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity, indicating along with the microsatellite data that North American zoos have maintained high levels of genetic diversity among their Queensland Koalas, thereby suggesting that geographic structuring should be considered in the conservation management of koala.

Randomly Amplified Polymorphic DNA Variation in Populations of Eastern Australian Koalas, Phascolarctos cinereus

Results demonstrate that RAPD markers are useful for determining population structure among koalas, and significant differences in the level of diversity between southern and northern regions of eastern Australia.

Testing the regional genetic representativeness of captive koala populations in South-East Queensland

Test captive koalas maintain sufficient microsatellite diversity to act as an in situ reservoir for neutral genetic diversity of regional populations, and Mitochondrial DNA suggests that captive founders were from a wider geographic source or that haplotypes have been lost locally.

Analysis and Conservation Implications of Koala Genetics

The koala is currently at an appropriate point for conservation intervention: there is clear evidence of decline in some populations, but the existence of other robust populations offers the possibility of a variety of creative solutions to their conservation problems.

Genomic comparisons reveal biogeographic and anthropogenic impacts in the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus): a dietary-specialist species distributed across heterogeneous environments

The results of this study show that although the koala is widely considered to be a dietary-specialist species, this apparent specialisation has not limited the koalas’s ability to maintain gene flow and adapt across divergent environments as long as the required food source is available.

Phylogeographic differentiation in the mitochondrial control region in the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus (Goldfuss 1817)

It is concluded that the appropriate short‐term management unit (MU) for koalas is the local population, and significant differentiation in mtDNA‐haplotype frequencies between localities suggested that little gene flow currently exists among populations.