Australian Journal of Zoology
Number 3 2014
Few species-specific immunological reagents are available for the koala, an iconic native species threatened by infectious diseases. The current study employed RNASeq to catalogue and characterise the sequences for a range of key koala immunological markers, providing researchers with tools to begin to understand the koala’s immune system.
Photo by Courtney Waugh.
The present study describes the histological development of gonads and variations in the levels of oestradiol-17β (E2), testosterone (T) and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) during the first year of male and female brook trout (age = 8–15 months). Males attained puberty while females failed to become mature within the study period.
Photo by Shafaq Fatima.
Population studies often assume temporally stable patterns of genetic variability; this is not always the case. We assessed mitochondrial variation in two amphipod species from an Australian waterway over 24 months. One species was more genetically variable than the other, although no temporal trends were identified in either species.
Photo by Pann Pann Chung.
This study describes the diet of Pacific gulls breeding at Seal Island, in northern Bass Strait. Examination of regurgitate pellets, collected from the colony over nine years, revealed the importance of avian prey in the gulls’ diet, and this is discussed in relation to their behaviour and bill morphology.
Photo by Tamara Leitch.
Platypus population size, sex ratio, reproductive success, juvenile recruitment and longevity are described in three stream systems near Melbourne. Population size varied asynchronously among the systems, which also differed with respect to stream flow, spatial isolation and degree of urbanisation; rainfall patterns accounted for much of the variation in annual reproductive success.
Photo courtesy of the Australian Platypus Conservancy.
Twenty di- to pentanucleotide microsatellites are reported for the wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax), a large raptor from Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. These markers will be used to assess population structure and conservation genetics of this species, focusing on population differentiation and gene flow between Tasmanian and mainland populations and conservation genetics of the endangered Tasmanian population.
Knowledge of intraspecific genetic variation is desirable for the identification of management units. We surveyed mitochondrial DNA sequences in the Tasmanian endemic frog Litoria burrowsae. Although phylogeographic structure was absent, populations were highly differentiated in haplotype frequencies, with a signature of ‘isolation by distance’. Three putative management units were identified.
Photo by Michael Driessen.
The endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus krefftii) has been monitored via remote sampling and genetic techniques since 2000, thus avoiding the detrimental effects on the animals of trapping. We have developed eight new microsatellite markers, specifically designed to reduce the time, cost and error rates of future northern hairy-nosed wombat hair censuses.
Photo by Alan Horsup.
Population genetic analysis indicates that the declining western subspecies of the purple-crowned fairy-wren (Malurus coronatus coronatus) occurs as five genetically distinct populations within the Fitzroy, Durack, Drysdale, Victoria and Pentecost catchments. A regional approach to conservation, focusing on prevention of degradation, is needed to safeguard the persistence of these populations.
Photo by Anja Skroblin.