DNA extracted from faeces as a source of information about endemic reindeer from the High Arctic: detection of Shiga toxin genes and the analysis of reindeer male-specific DNA

Sylwia Zielińska , Dorota Kidawa , Lech Stempniewicz , Marcin Łoś , Joanna Monika Łoś

Abstract

DNA extracted from faeces may be a valuable source of information about the animal itself, as well as its microflora. An isolated reindeer population from Svalbard (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) was tested for the presence of Shiga toxin encoding genes in the collected faecal samples. Even though the reindeers were not interacting with any other ruminants, which are considered to be a major reservoir of Shiga toxin containing bacteria, the stx1 gene was detected in 9 out of 10 tested samples, and the stx2 subtype c was found in five tested samples. This is an exceptionally high proportion, especially in the case of stx1, when compared to those observed in semi-domesticated or wild cervid populations in less remote locations. Distribution of the investigated genes in a small, local population indicates a different pattern of transmission, which seems to favour bacteria carrying the stx1 genes over those carrying the stx2 genes. The overall high percentage of animals with microbiota containing the stx genes suggests an important role of these genes in such an extreme environment for either hosts or their gut bacteria. Additionally, male-specific DNA found in the faeces was isolated in order to establish a given animal’s sex. PCR based on two pairs of primers, DBY7 and DBY8 gave the expected length of product characteristic for Y chromosome. The results of molecular sexing were consistent with field observations.
Author Sylwia Zielińska KGMB
Sylwia Zielińska,,
- Department of Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
, Dorota Kidawa KEiZK
Dorota Kidawa,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
, Lech Stempniewicz KEiZK
Lech Stempniewicz,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
, Marcin Łoś KGMB
Marcin Łoś,,
- Department of Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
, Joanna Monika Łoś KGMB
Joanna Monika Łoś,,
- Department of Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
Journal seriesPolar Biology, ISSN 0722-4060
Issue year2017
Vol40
No3
Pages659-666
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishstx genes, faeces, PCR detection, Svalbard reindeer, sex identification, Arctic soil
DOIDOI:10.1007/s00300-016-1990-2
URL http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00300-016-1990-2.pdf
Languageen angielski
LicenseOther; published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)30
ScoreMinisterial score = 30.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 30.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 1.949 (2) - 2016=2.066 (5)
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