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Gewählte Master / Diploma Thesis:

Anna Seiter (2018): Genetic diversity of Erinaceus europaeus and Erinaceus roumanicus in Austria. Inferred from microsatellite genotyping by next generation sequencing..
Master / Diploma Thesis - Institut für Integrative Naturschutzforschung, BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 48. UB BOKU obvsg

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
Although hedgehogs are well studied animals, the genetic variability of both Erinaceus species in Central Europe remains largely unknown. Austria is situated in the transition area of the two European hedgehog species Erinaceus europaeus and Erinaceus roumanicus. Aim of this study was to estimate genetic diversity of these hedgehog species with microsatellites in austrian wildlife shelters. Special focus was on testing buccal swabs as sampling method, implementing newly developed primers for E. europaeus and E. roumanicus and applying Multiplex PCR and Illumina sequencing. In total, 86 samples from three wildlife shelters in Vorarlberg, Tyrol (distribution area of E. europaeus) and Carinthia (distribution area of E. roumanicus) were collected. Genetic diversity among and between those hedgehog groups and taxa was analyzed with PCoA, STRUCTURE and heterozygosity values. The microsatellite genotyping methods of PCR multiplexing and Illumina sequencing were highly effective. The DNA sampling with saliva swabs turned out to be a cost-effective and simple method. From 28 developed primers, 19 suitable primers for E. europaeus were selected. Among the individuals studied, two different species and three different groups could be identified. The genetic distance value was F ST (0.358/0.384) between E. roumanicus and E. europaeus. The observed heterozygosity (Ho) of E. europaeus in Vorarlberg and Tyrol was with the value of 0.508 a little higher than of E. roumanicus in Carinthia 0.467. In Tyrol, a sub group was visible. As possible reason, subspecies, connected to the glacial refugiae in Italy or hybrids between both studied hedgehog species, are suggested. Since the samples were derived from hedgehogs kept in wildlife shelters, the consequences of releasing that hedgehogs were discussed. Overall the results of this study indicate a moderate genetic diversity of hedgehogs in south-western Austria with a mean value of 0.488 (Ho). Furthermore, six potential hybrids or differential subspecies have been found in Tyrol. Future investigations on the genetic situation of wild austrian hedgehog populations are required to analyze future hybridization events, distribution developments of the two species and the effect of translocation from wildlife shelters.

Beurteilende(r): Meimberg Harald
1.Mitwirkender: Winter Silvia
2.Mitwirkender: Cardoso Curto Manuel Antonio

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