Conservation genetics is based on the need to maintain genetic variation, which retains deleterious recessive mutations in a heterozygous state and provides adaptive potential in a changing environment. Typically, levels of variation in natural populations are assessed with neutral markers such as microsatellites. Adaptive genetic variation, however, is likely to respond to microevolutionary forces (mutation, natural selection and random genetic drift) in a different way. Hence we need to study the relationship between neutral microsatellite markers and genes of adaptive significance. We present simple models that illustrate the difficulty of inferring levels of adaptive genetic variation from molecular markers, and hence evolutionary potential and fitness from microsatellite markers.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|
- conservation genetics