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New species of wild cat identified in Brazil

RATE THIS! +45
Posted in Science on 28th Nov, 2013 01:51 AM by AlexMuller

By comparing DNA sequences, the team revealed that two populations of tigrina in Brazil do not interbreed and are evolutionarily distinct.

 
Results also show the two populations have contrasting interactions with the closely related pampas cat and Geoffroy's cat.
 
The findings are published in the journal Current Biology.
 
There are at least seven species of small wild cat in the genus Leopardus in Central and South America, which are thought to have first colonised the region during the late Pliocene (2.5 - 3.5 million years ago).
 
A team of researchers led by Dr Eduardo Eizirik from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil collected samples of DNA from pampas cats (Leopardus colocolo) in the north of the country, Geoffroy's cats (L. geoffroyi) from the south and two separate populations - north eastern and southern - of tigrina (L. tigrinus).
 
"We used several different types of molecular markers to investigate the evolutionary history of these species," explained Dr Eizirik.
 
"These [molecular markers] evolve at different rates, which helps in the sense that they provide information on different time frames," he said.
 
By comparing these different chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA marker sequences the scientists could track patterns of interbreeding - or hybridisation - between the cat species and populations.
 
The markers revealed that the southern population of tigrina were actively breeding with Geoffroy's cat in areas where the two species came into contact. In contrast, they found evidence for ancient hybridisation between the north eastern tigrina and the pampas cat.

Tags: catmolecular markersnatureenvironmentbiologyDNAevolution

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-28
+2
DNA technologies are making great contribution to find evolutionary connectivity - we will soon have very good knowledge for many species
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-28
+1
The ability to sequence genomes at low cost and quickly is helping studies of evolution - DNA analysis together with fossil data give much more accurate picture Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-28
+2
Finding about evolution is not only about the past. This can help understand how we can change some part of our cells to be more adaptable and restore some lost advantages Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-28
+1
Working with fresh samples from living animals is relatively easy. Ancient DNA recovered from archaeological and historical skeletal material has big problems. Quality of this DNA is often not very good.
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-28
+0
Ancient DNA has many problems, fragmentation, contamination and not a lot of material
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-28
+0
There some new technologies and it is always the best to combine DNA information with other methods Reply
Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-28
+0
Some ideas, like recreating dinosaurs by extracting DNA from insects in amber has held the fascination of the public. However there are recent reports that this technique is unlikely to succeed.
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-28
+0
Indeed this was not successful with highly-sensitive sequencing techniques – the most advance type of DNA sequencing –applied on insects in sub-fossilized resin precursor of amber.
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-28
+0
It is good to know what is possible and document this with proper experiments Reply
Reply
Reply


 

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