Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arizona Project

Functional Genomics of the Endangered Florida Panther

January 2011 - December 2017


Participating Agencies

  • Arizona Game & Fish Dept.

Goal: Correlate genetic diversity in genome with fitness traits in the Florida panther, evaluate the success of the Texas introduction as a function of purged detrimental variation vs. genetic swamping of Florida panther ancestry. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have been used to uncover the genetic basis of many adaptive and detrimental traits in human populations and represent a powerful tool for the proper conservation and management of endangered wildlife. This project involves genome sequence for trios of Florida mother, Texas father, and offspring. From the genomic data – genome-wide SNPs informative for adaptive and detrimental variation will be developed. SNPs are the marker of choice to detect selection at a larger scale and we intend to use this SNP array to then genotype the Texas puma population, the bottlenecked Florida panther population, and the current Florida panther population. In addition to identifying selection through our SNP array. Finally, we will perform a Bayesian population assignment analysis to determine the level of Texas genetic introgression in the Florida panther gene pool. Information derived from this study will be essential to optimize efforts for the management and conservation of the endangered Florida panther.