Can we save the northern white rhino from extinction?
Earlier this year, the last remaining male Northern white rhinoceros (NWR) died in captivity, nearly cementing the fate of this subspecies for extinction. in the wild, continued threats of poaching, habitat destruction, and little population size have contributed to the rhinos’ standing as critically vulnerable. Yet, novel conservation efforts that create the use of cryopreserved genetic material may save the NWR, and different vulnerable species, from extinction.
In a study printed nowadays in order analysis, researchers investigated the genetic history of 9 NWR cryopreserved cell lines compared thereto of a closely connected taxonomic category, the Southern White rhinoceros (SWR). order analyses incontestable that the NWR and SWR represent 2 distinct populations that diverge nearly 8000 years past, every with high genetic variation compared to different vulnerable species. significantly, genetic analyses of variation and coupling expedited identification of cell lines, which can function valuable pools of genetic material for genetic rescue.
Lead author Tate Tunstall, of the port of entry menagerie Institute for Conservation analysis, stressed the importance of this finding, stating “the SWR went through a severe genetic bottleneck, however, is currently the most inhabited of all forms of rhinoceros at ~20,000 people, suggesting that a genetic rescue utilizing these cell lines might be the muse for an analogous recovery within the NWR.”‘
This work presents the primary genome sequence of the NWR and therefore the present, albeit restricted, the gene pool of this species. Tunstall and colleagues propose that this data will facilitate guide a tailored recovery program for the NWR. “Our study demonstrates the rising role for whole-genome-sequencing analysis to judge the potential for population recovery,” same Artemis C. Steiner, who directed the study. moreover, advanced sequencing technologies, cryopreservation efforts like that of the San Diego zoo Frozen zoo, as well as novel reproductive ways can be developed to enhance recovery efforts for the NWR and alternative species that face similar threats of extinction. Recent efforts to this end are promising. the primary pregnant SWR from artificial insemination has been reportable by the city installation Institute for Conservation analysis, and it’s hoped that surrogate SWR mothers might sometime give birth to NWR progeny.