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Conservation genetics of odonates

February 21, 2012

A recent research aim of mine has been acquiring molecular genetic data for Hetaerina and Paraphlebia damselflies. The costs related to generating these type of data are a fraction of what they were just a few years ago.  Last year, I was lucky enough to get to run a Hetaerina americana specimen and a Paraphlebia zoe specimen on the UCLA Genotyping and Sequencing Core’s 454 High-Throughput Sequencer.  These data can be used for many applications, but I have been using the sequence data to develop microsatellite primers. The students and staff at the UCLA Conservation Genetics Resource Center have been super helpful in providing logistical support and advice. We have recently published the Paraphlebia markers here.  I expect to publish the Hetaerina markers later this spring. I am especially excited about the Hetaerina markers because our results show that many of the markers that amplify for H. americana also amplify for other species of Hetaerina. Ultimately, these markers will be used to help resolve questions about population structure and geneflow among populations of damselflies.

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