DNA "fingerprinting" reveals high levels of inbreeding in colonies of the eusocial naked mole-rat.

TitleDNA "fingerprinting" reveals high levels of inbreeding in colonies of the eusocial naked mole-rat.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume87
Issue7
Pagination2496-500
Date Published1990 Apr
ISSN0027-8424
Abstract

Using the technique of DNA fingerprinting, we investigated the genetic structure within and among four wild-caught colonies (n = 50 individuals) of a eusocial mammal, the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber; Rodentia: Bathyergidae). We found that DNA fingerprints of colony-mates were strikingly similar and that between colonies they were much more alike than fingerprints of non-kin in other free-living vertebrates. Extreme genetic similarity within colonies is due to close genetic relationship (mean relatedness estimate +/- SE, r = 0.81 +/- 0.10), which apparently results from consanguineous mating. The inbreeding coefficient (F = 0.45 +/- 0.18) is the highest yet recorded among wild mammals. The genetic structure of naked mole-rat colonies lends support to kin selection and ecological constraints models for the evolution of cooperative breeding and eusociality.

URLhttp://www.pnas.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=2320570
Short TitleProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
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