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Population genomics of Baltic Sea harbour porpoises

Project title: Genetic population classification of individual Baltic Sea harbour porpoises using high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) technology

Focus

  • Where do harbour porpoises occur in the inner Baltic Sea?
  • Regional and seasonal population behaviour
  • Genetic diversity of the populations

Contact

University of Potsdam
Institute of Biochemistry und Biology
Prof. Dr. Ralph Tiedemann
Tel.: +49 331 977-5249
tiedeman(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsuni-potsdam.de

Funding

FKZ 3514 82 4600
Departmental research plan 2014
Term: 01.04.2015 – 31.03.2016

The Baltic Sea is experiencing an increase in pile driving for wind power exploitation that also affects areas used by harbour porpoises. In view of this and due to the current threat to a potential population of the harbour porpoise in the inner Baltic Sea, it is essential to know the seasonal distribution of this population of harbour porpoises and to separate this population from individuals belonging to other populations.

The aim of the project is to categorise the population genome of a representative data set of individual Baltic Sea harbour porpoises in order to

  • check the existence of a separate harbour porpoise population in the inner Baltic Sea,
  • determine the distribution of this population regionally and seasonally and
  • separate individuals of this population from migratory individuals of other populations.

Methods

Using RAD-tag genotyping by sequencing, SNPs will be examined in several hundred individuals (approx. 100 from each of the inner Baltic Sea, Beltsee/Kattegat and North Sea/Skagerak). Samples from the breeding season will mainly be used if possible. Additional individuals will be used for comparison with external groups (Iceland, Spain) and to enhance the Baltic Sea data set (e.g. including other samples from outside the breeding season to identify migrating individuals).

Results

Individuenspezifische genetische Populationszuordnung baltischer Schweinswale mittels hochauflösenderSingle Nucleotide Polymorphisms(SNPs)-Technologie (Abschlussbericht, 2017)

Work packages

Work packages

  1. Establishing genomic resources for the harbour porpoise
  2. Describing the harbour porpoise populations in the Baltic Sea/Skagerak/North Sea region
  3. Determining the geographical and seasonal distribution of the populations
  4. Describing seasonal migration and genetic exchange between populations
  5. Assessing genetic variability of the Baltic Sea population of the harbour porpoise

Project partners

Project partners

Project management

University of Potsdam
Institute of Biochemistry und Biology
Prof. Dr. Ralph Tiedemann
Tel.: +49 331 977-5249
tiedeman(at)avoid-unrequested-mailsuni-potsdam.de

 

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