Title

Calculating Genetic Variation of Vervet Monkeys through Alu Insertions

Presenter Information

Samantha Carter

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

In this project, research will be conducted on the DNA of vervet monkey populations of Africa. This research is vital to gaining a deeper understanding of the genetic variations within and among populations. This experiment will focus on retroelements called Alu elements. Alus are segments of DNA that repeatedly copy themselves with these copies being inserted into various places in the genome. The presence, amplification, and number of copies will determine which individuals are more closely related than others. Through the usage of Alus, this research should determine the approximation of which vervet species and subspecies are more closely related than others, as well as the time at which these populations split. This project will utilize a selection of DNA samples collected from about 700 individual vervets from populations all over Africa where vervets are found. This project is still in the beginning phases of its data collection. The Alus selected in this project were chosen for their anticipated insertion lengths and the variability of their insertion lengths. Thus far, results are promising. The individuals have been showing a variety of insertion forms--homozygous positive, heterozygous, and homozygous negative have all been present in individuals. At this point, no sequencing has been conducted, so the variability of band insertion length is not yet known. The variation in insertion presence is still promising, however. It signifies that there are differences between individuals, which could be representative of differences in populations.

Poster Number

31

Faculty Mentor(s)

Joseph Lorenz

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology

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May 17th, 8:30 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

Calculating Genetic Variation of Vervet Monkeys through Alu Insertions

SURC Ballroom A

In this project, research will be conducted on the DNA of vervet monkey populations of Africa. This research is vital to gaining a deeper understanding of the genetic variations within and among populations. This experiment will focus on retroelements called Alu elements. Alus are segments of DNA that repeatedly copy themselves with these copies being inserted into various places in the genome. The presence, amplification, and number of copies will determine which individuals are more closely related than others. Through the usage of Alus, this research should determine the approximation of which vervet species and subspecies are more closely related than others, as well as the time at which these populations split. This project will utilize a selection of DNA samples collected from about 700 individual vervets from populations all over Africa where vervets are found. This project is still in the beginning phases of its data collection. The Alus selected in this project were chosen for their anticipated insertion lengths and the variability of their insertion lengths. Thus far, results are promising. The individuals have been showing a variety of insertion forms--homozygous positive, heterozygous, and homozygous negative have all been present in individuals. At this point, no sequencing has been conducted, so the variability of band insertion length is not yet known. The variation in insertion presence is still promising, however. It signifies that there are differences between individuals, which could be representative of differences in populations.