DNA profile for 29 tigers in Mudumalai forest done
Dr Ramakrishnan said that GAC in Ooty is the first one to have this technology to establish DNA profile for the tigers
Ooty: The department of zoology and wildlife biology (ZWB) at the Government Arts College here has established DNA profile for 29 tigers in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR). The department and Mudumalai Tiger Reserve administration had a tie-up for DNA analysis of the tigers, said Dr B. Ramakrishnan, assistant professor.
Non-invasive technology was used to analyze and establish the genetic signature (DNA profile) of individual tigers living in the reserve, said Dr Ramakrishnan, who is the principal investigator of the project. In the first phase, which ran for about three years, researchers collected scat samples spread across the reserve.
After standardisation of methods using chemicals and primers, mitochondrial DNA was targeted and using the allele-specific technology the DNA was separated for further analysis and similar such technology using electrophoresis and related experiments was used to identify the sex, said Dr R. Sanil, associate professor. He led the laboratory analytical part. This method help establish the individual DNA profile of every tiger, as the DNA profile of two tigers cannot be identical. Through these technologies the genetic signature of the tigers were established using the scat samples, he said.
Dr Ramakrishnan said that GAC in Ooty is the first one to have this technology to establish DNA profile for the tigers.
The DNA coding of individual tigers would be helpful in keeping a track of the tigers and also to identify tigers in case there were poached and materials such as tiger skin and claw were confiscated in different part of the globe, he said.
( Source : deccan chronicle )