The Use of Fur Collected in the Field for Studying the Genetic Diversity of Wild Ungulates

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The methods of studying the genetic diversity of wild animals using tissue samples collected without harming the studied populations are discussed for the red deer (Cervus elaphus) fur samples. The methods are proposed for the collection and storage of fur samples in field conditions. The optimal methods of DNA isolation from the fur and other tissues (dry, alcohol-fixed, and frozen skin and muscle) of the red deer and other ungulates were selected, and the conditions of PCR for amplification of the mitochondrial DNA fragments were determined. The comparison between the pure-blood red deers from Central England and the Voronezh State Reserve (Russia) was performed using a cytochrome b fragment of the mitochondrial DNA.

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