Tsangaras, Kyriakos2; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen3; Ishida, Yasuko2; Helgen, Kristofer M2; Roca, Alfred L2; Greenwood, Alex D2
1 Natural History Museum of Denmark, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Natural History Museum of Denmark, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is an arboreal marsupial that was historically widespread across eastern Australia until the end of the 19th century when it suffered a steep population decline. Hunting for the fur trade, habitat conversion, and disease contributed to a precipitous reduction in koala population size during the late 1800s and early 1900s. To examine the effects of these reductions in population size on koala genetic diversity, we sequenced part of the hypervariable region of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in koala museum specimens collected in the 19th and 20th centuries, hypothesizing that the historical samples would exhibit greater genetic diversity.
B M C Genetics, 2012, Vol 13
Animals; DNA Damage; DNA, Mitochondrial; Genetic Variation; Haplotypes; Phascolarctidae