Population Genetics of the Giant Red Centipede Along the Appalachian Mountains

Ladner, Kayla Elayne (2017) Population Genetics of the Giant Red Centipede Along the Appalachian Mountains. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Ryan Garrick from Biology, The University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

This study focused on population genetics of the giant red centipede, Scolopocryptops sexpinousus, in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Two genetic markers were used—the mitochondrial COI gene, and the nuclear RNA Polymerase II gene. The goal of this study was to determine how many genetically distinct populations of this invertebrate species exist within the study area, and to understand the spatial distribution of genetic diversity within and among populations. I hypothesized several genetically distinct populations of S. sexpinosus would be detected because the complex topographic characteristics and historical climate cycles of the region are thought to limit movement of many forest invertebrates. Methods used in this study included sampling of centipedes within the known range of S. sexpinosus, extracting DNA, PCR amplification of target genes, DNA sequence editing and alignment, estimation of phylogenetic tree based on data from the COI gene, and mapping of the spatial distributions of well- supported clades. The results from this study revealed high levels of genetic diversity among populations for the mitochondrial COI genetic marker, and natural genetic clusters based on an estimated phylogenetic tree were found to comprise individuals that occurred in close geographic proximity to one another. The RNA Polymerase II gene was successfully amplified using primers created in this study, and these can be used in future studies of S. sexpinosus. The results from this study fit within a larger-scaled project focused on population genetics of several different species found within the Southern Appalachians region.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Ladner, Kayla Elayne
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. Biological Science
Thesis Advisor: Ryan Garrick
Thesis Advisor's Department: Biology
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Depositing User: Ms. Kayla Ladner
Date Deposited: 10 May 2018 20:13
Last Modified: 10 May 2018 20:13
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/1150

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