Conservation genetics: techniques and fundamentals

P. W. Hedrick, P. S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Scopus citations


Conservation genetics utilizes the tools and concepts of genetics and applies them to problems in conservation biology. For example, molecular genetic techniques, such as protein electrophoresis, and analysis of mitochondrial DNA and highly variable nuclear genes (including DNA fingerprinting), have been important in documenting the extent and pattern of genetic variation in endangered species. For captive animal populations, pedigree analysis has become the basic approach to evaluate breeding priority of particular individuals. Peeling and gene dropping give the most information. The rationale for much conservation genetic interpretation is based in evolutionary genetics. The authors discuss the avoidance of inbreeding depression and the maintenance of genetic variation. Mention is made of three evolutionary topics (the relationship of heterozygosity and fitness, population bottlenecks, and outbreeding depression) that have implications for conservation genetics. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-46
Number of pages17
JournalEcological Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology


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