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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1268; doi:10.3390/ijms17081268

Parentage-Based Group Composition and Dispersal Pattern Studies of the Yangtze Finless Porpoise Population in Poyang Lake

1
The Key Laboratory of Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
2
Research Center of Aquatic Organism Conservation and Water Ecosystem Restoration in Anhui Province, School of Life Sciences, Anqing Normal University, Anqing 246133, China
3
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Li Lin
Received: 23 May 2016 / Revised: 16 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [814 KB, uploaded 11 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Social behaviors are poorly known for the critically endangered Yangtze finless porpoise (YFP, Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis). Here, group composition and dispersal patterns of the YFP population living in the Poyang Lake were studied by parentage-based pedigree analyses using 21 microsatellite loci and a 597 bp segment of the mitochondrial DNA control region. In this study, 21 potential mother-offspring pairs and six potential father-offspring pairs (including two potential parents-offspring pairs) were determined, among which 12 natural mother-offspring groups and a maternal group of three generations were found. No genetically-determined fathers were found associated with their offspring. This study also found that maternally related porpoises at the reproductive state tend to group together. This suggest maternal relationship and reproductive state may be factors for grouping in the YFP population. In natural mother-offspring groups, male offspring were all younger than two years old, which suggest male offspring may leave their mothers at approximately two years of age, or at least they were not in tight association with their mothers as they may have been under two years old. However, female offspring can stay longer with their mothers and can reproduce in the natal group. View Full-Text
Keywords: Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis; parentage identification; social structure; matrilineal; dispersal pattern Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis; parentage identification; social structure; matrilineal; dispersal pattern
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, M.; Zheng, Y.; Hao, Y.; Mei, Z.; Wang, K.; Zhao, Q.; Zheng, J.; Wang, D. Parentage-Based Group Composition and Dispersal Pattern Studies of the Yangtze Finless Porpoise Population in Poyang Lake. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1268.

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