Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Population Genetics Related Abstracts

5 SciPaaS: a Scientific Execution Platform for the Cloud

Authors: Wesley H. Brewer, John C. Sanford


SciPaaS is a prototype development of an execution platform/middleware designed to make it easy for scientists to rapidly deploy their scientific applications (apps) to the cloud. It provides all the necessary infrastructure for running typical IXP (Input-eXecute-Plot) style apps, including: a web interface, post-processing and plotting capabilities, job scheduling, real-time monitoring of running jobs, and even a file/case manager. In this paper, first the system architecture is described and then is demonstrated for a two scientific applications: (1) a simple finite-difference solver of the inviscid Burger’s equation, and (2) Mendel’s Accountant—a forward-time population genetics simulation model. The implications of the prototype are discussed in terms of ease-of-use and deployment options, especially in cloud environments.

Keywords: Cloud Computing, Population Genetics, web-based simulation, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), rapid application development (RAD)

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4 A Set of Microsatellite Markers for Population Genetics of Copper-Winged Bat (Myotis rufoniger) Using Saliva DNA

Authors: Junghwa An, Sungkyoung Choi, Eun Ye, San Hoon Han, Young-Gun Choi, Chul Oun Jung


The copper-winged bat (Myotis rufoniger) is the widely distributed medium body-sized bat in Asia, including Korea. This bat population has been decreasing because of habitat loss. This study reported the isolation and characterization of ten polymorphic microsatellite loci in endangered M. rufoniger. To do genetic studies, we use saliva DNA of bats during winter sleep period. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 9, and the observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.063 to 0.750 and from 0.063 to 0.865, respectively. The average polymorphic information content (PIC) value of these markers was 0.37. Two loci of M. rufoniger showed departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium(HWE). This demonstrated that the ten microsatellite loci can be used as genetic markers for further investigation of the copper-winged bat.

Keywords: Population Genetics, microsatellite, South Korea, copper-winged bat

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3 Habitat Suitability, Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Two Sympatric Fruit Bat Species Reveal the Need of an Urgent Conservation Action

Authors: Mohamed Thani Ibouroi, Ali Cheha, Claudine Montgelard, Veronique Arnal, Dawiyat Massoudi, Guillelme Astruc, Said Ali Ousseni Dhurham, Aurelien Besnard


The Livingstone's flying fox (Pteropus livingstonii) and the Comorian fruit bat (P.seychellensis comorensis) are two endemic fruit bat species among the mostly threatened animals of the Comoros archipelagos. Despite their role as important ecosystem service providers like all flying fox species as pollinators and seed dispersers, little is known about their ecologies, population genetics and structures making difficult the development of evidence-based conservation strategies. In this study, we assess spatial distribution and ecological niche of both species using Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) based on the recent Ensemble of Small Models (ESMs) approach using presence-only data. Population structure and genetic diversity of the two species were assessed using both mitochondrial and microsatellite markers based on non-invasive genetic samples. Our ESMs highlight a clear niche partitioning of the two sympatric species. Livingstone’s flying fox has a very limited distribution, restricted on steep slope of natural forests at high elevation. On the contrary, the Comorian fruit bat has a relatively large geographic range spread over low elevations in farmlands and villages. Our genetic analysis shows a low genetic diversity for both fruit bats species. They also show that the Livingstone’s flying fox population of the two islands were genetically isolated while no evidence of genetic differentiation was detected for the Comorian fruit bats between islands. Our results support the idea that natural habitat loss, especially the natural forest loss and fragmentation are the important factors impacting the distribution of the Livingstone’s flying fox by limiting its foraging area and reducing its potential roosting sites. On the contrary, the Comorian fruit bats seem to be favored by human activities probably because its diets are less specialized. By this study, we concluded that the Livingstone’s flying fox species and its habitat are of high priority in term of conservation at the Comoros archipelagos scale.

Keywords: Population Genetics, Conservation Biology, ecological niche, Comoros islands, habitat loss, fruit bats

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2 Against the Philosophical-Scientific Racial Project of Biologizing Race

Authors: Anthony F. Peressini


The concept of race has recently come prominently back into discussion in the context of medicine and medical science, along with renewed effort to biologize racial concepts. This paper argues that this renewed effort to biologize race by way of medicine and population genetics fail on their own terms, and more importantly, that the philosophical project of biologizing race ought to be recognized for what it is—a retrograde racial project—and abandoned. There is clear agreement that standard racial categories and concepts cannot be grounded in the old way of racial naturalism, which understand race as a real, interest-independent biological/metaphysical category in which its members share “physical, moral, intellectual, and cultural characteristics.” But equally clear is the very real and pervasive presence of racial concepts in individual and collective consciousness and behavior, and so it remains a pressing area in which to seek deeper understanding. Recent philosophical work has endeavored to reconcile these two observations by developing a “thin” conception of race, grounded in scientific concepts but without the moral and metaphysical content. Such “thin,” science-based analyses take the “commonsense” or “folk” sense of race as it functions in contemporary society as the starting point for their philosophic-scientific projects to biologize racial concepts. A “philosophic-scientific analysis” is a special case of the cornerstone of analytic philosophy: a conceptual analysis. That is, a rendering of a concept into the more perspicuous concepts that constitute it. Thus a philosophic-scientific account of a concept is an attempt to work out an analysis of a concept that makes use of empirical science's insights to ground, legitimate and explicate the target concept in terms of clearer concepts informed by empirical results. The focus in this paper is on three recent philosophic-scientific cases for retaining “race” that all share this general analytic schema, but that make use of “medical necessity,” population genetics, and human genetic clustering, respectively. After arguing that each of these three approaches suffers from internal difficulties, the paper considers the general analytic schema employed by such biologizations of race. While such endeavors are inevitably prefaced with the disclaimer that the theory to follow is non-essentialist and non-racialist, the case will be made that such efforts are not neutral scientific or philosophical projects but rather are what sociologists call a racial project, that is, one of many competing efforts that conjoin a representation of what race means to specific efforts to determine social and institutional arrangements of power, resources, authority, etc. Accordingly, philosophic-scientific biologizations of race, since they begin from and condition their analyses on “folk” conceptions, cannot pretend to be “prior to” other disciplinary insights, nor to transcend the social-political dynamics involved in formulating theories of race. As a result, such traditional philosophical efforts can be seen to be disciplinarily parochial and to address only a caricature of a large and important human problem—and thereby further contributing to the unfortunate isolation of philosophical thinking about race from other disciplines.

Keywords: Population Genetics, Racism, Social Construction, ontology of race, race-based medicine, racial formation theory, racial projects

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1 Assessment of Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Goldstripe Sardinella, Sardinella gibbosa in the Transboundary Area of Kenya and Tanzania Using mtDNA and msDNA Markers

Authors: Sammy Kibor, Filip Huyghe, Marc Kochzius, James Kairo


Goldstripe Sardinella, Sardinella gibbosa, (Bleeker, 1849) is a commercially and ecologically important small pelagic fish common in the Western Indian Ocean region. The present study aimed to assess genetic diversity and population structure of the species in the Kenya-Tanzania transboundary area using mtDNA and msDNA markers. Some 630 bp sequence in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Cytochrome C Oxidase I (COI) and five polymorphic microsatellite DNA loci were analyzed. Fin clips of 309 individuals from eight locations within the transboundary area were collected between July and December 2018. The S. gibbosa individuals from the different locations were distinguishable from one another based on the mtDNA variation, as demonstrated with a neighbor-joining tree and minimum spanning network analysis. None of the identified 22 haplotypes were shared between Kenya and Tanzania. Gene diversity per locus was relatively high (0.271-0.751), highest Fis was 0.391. The structure analysis, discriminant analysis of Principal component (DAPC) and the pair-wise (FST = 0.136 P < 0.001) values after Bonferroni correction using five microsatellite loci provided clear inference on genetic differentiation and thus evidence of population structure of S. gibbosa along the Kenya-Tanzania coast. This study shows a high level of genetic diversity and the presence of population structure (Φst =0.078 P < 0.001) resulting to the existence of four populations giving a clear indication of minimum gene flow among the population. This information has application in the designing of marine protected areas, an important tool for marine conservation.

Keywords: Population Genetics, microsatellites, transboundary, marine connectivity

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