AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Identification of individual koalas: microsatellite analysis of faecal DNA

by Grace Valasi Hey

Institution: University of Western Sydney
Degree: MS(M.
Year: 0
Keywords: koalas; faecal DNA; microsatellite loci
Record ID: 1066713
Full text PDF: http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/451


Current studies of koalas in the wild mainly rely on information gathered by traditional field methods, such as community sightings, spotlighting, radiotracking, animal trappings, ear tagging and faecal pellet incidence. Collection of faeces is potentially the most reliable source of non-invasively obtaining DNA samples, which can be used to identify specific individuals. This thesis demonstrated a simple, rapid and reproducible method of extracting DNA from Koala faecal pellets using a commercially available DNA extraction kit, shows the maximum age of pellets from which DNA can be reliably extracted and defines the conditions required for the long term storage of pellets before DNA extraction is carried out. Mitochondrial DNA PCR analysis provided a simple and rapid indication of the success of both the faecal DNA extraction and pellet collection process. The faecal DNA was successfully used for microsatellite analysis and the subsequent genetic profiling of individuals from within the Campbelltown Koala population. The study paves the way for the analysis of microsatellite loci in koala faecal pellet DAN to study populations, which are too sparsely distributed to allow the capture of individual koalas Master of Science (M. Sc.) (Hons.)