placeholder image

Will a novel genetic mutation save large goannas from extinction?

Grant


Scheme


  • General grant

Abstract


  • We will investigate whether a novel genetic mutation will save large goannas from succumbing to cane toad toxin.The project is a continuation of my long-term studies (12 years) investigating the effects of cane toads on goannas in the Australian tropics. During the last 10 years I have established a large DNA "bank" which will be used in the present project. Combining molecular and cell biology techniques with ecological and genetic approaches make the project highly innovative. To evaluate the effects of the toad-toxin-resistant mutation, we will create a cell model, where the novel genetic mutations found in the 8 surviving goannas will be inserted into cells, followed by quantification of the cells' resistance to toad toxins. If the novel mutation, as I strongly suspect, provides increased resistance to cane toad toxin the results will contribute to protecting large goannas from extinction and hence promote, maintain and successfully manage of our unique fauna and flora. Furthermore, the severe impact of cane toads on naïve native Australian predators such as large goannas offers a unique opportunity to explore how a substantial decrease in numbers will affect their future population genetic diversity, enabling me to document evolutionary consequences of reduced population numbers. Evolutionary ecology and conservation biology of tomorrow will greatly benefit from integrating and developing such a multidisciplinary approach.

Date/time Interval


  • 2013 - 2014

Contributor


  • Madsen, Thomas R. - Chief Investigator

Sponsor Award Id


  • 20140151

Local Award Id


  • 114363

Contributor


  • Madsen, Thomas R. - Chief Investigator

Scheme


  • General grant

Abstract


  • We will investigate whether a novel genetic mutation will save large goannas from succumbing to cane toad toxin.The project is a continuation of my long-term studies (12 years) investigating the effects of cane toads on goannas in the Australian tropics. During the last 10 years I have established a large DNA "bank" which will be used in the present project. Combining molecular and cell biology techniques with ecological and genetic approaches make the project highly innovative. To evaluate the effects of the toad-toxin-resistant mutation, we will create a cell model, where the novel genetic mutations found in the 8 surviving goannas will be inserted into cells, followed by quantification of the cells' resistance to toad toxins. If the novel mutation, as I strongly suspect, provides increased resistance to cane toad toxin the results will contribute to protecting large goannas from extinction and hence promote, maintain and successfully manage of our unique fauna and flora. Furthermore, the severe impact of cane toads on naïve native Australian predators such as large goannas offers a unique opportunity to explore how a substantial decrease in numbers will affect their future population genetic diversity, enabling me to document evolutionary consequences of reduced population numbers. Evolutionary ecology and conservation biology of tomorrow will greatly benefit from integrating and developing such a multidisciplinary approach.

Date/time Interval


  • 2013 - 2014

Contributor


  • Madsen, Thomas R. - Chief Investigator

Sponsor Award Id


  • 20140151

Local Award Id


  • 114363

Contributor


  • Madsen, Thomas R. - Chief Investigator