Tags: woolly mammoth | disappear | genomic | meltdown

Woolly Mammoth Disappeared Because of Genomic Meltdown

Image: Woolly Mammoth Disappeared Because of Genomic Meltdown

(Raluca Tudor/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 03 Mar 2017 12:54 PM

Woolly mammoths suffered from a mutation meltdown leading to them die off, with the last of the giant animals suffering with a poor sense of smell and heartburn, according to a new study.

Woolly mammoths died out in mainland North America and Siberia about 10,000 years ago while smaller group went extinct on islands between Russia and Alaska about 3,700, noted The Guardian. Human hunting and a warming climate also contributed to their extinction.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley said in the study published in the journal Plos Genetics on Thursday that recent breakthroughs in ancient DNA sequencing allowed them to compare a mainland woolly mammoth found 45,000 years ago with one found in an isolated population 4,300 years ago on Wrangel Island.

"In the Wrangel Island mammoth, we identify a greater number of deletions, a larger proportion of deletions affecting gene sequences, a greater number of candidate retrogenes, and an increased number of premature stop codons," said the study.

"This accumulation of detrimental mutations is consistent with genomic meltdown in response to low effective population sizes in the dwindling mammoth population on Wrangel Island."

The university said the study offered a caution to conservationists that preserving a small group of isolated animals is not sufficient to stop negative effects of inbreeding and genomic meltdown.

"There is a long history of theoretical work about how genomes might change in small populations," said Rebekah Rogers, who led study's research as a postdoctoral scholar at Berkeley.

"Here we got a rare chance to look at snapshots of genomes 'before' and 'after' a population decline in a single species. The results we found were consistent with this theory that had been discussed for decades."

Rogers said mathematical models developed by Monty Slatkin, a Berkeley professor, of how genomes change as population conditions change were key to analyzing the genomes.

"With only two specimens to look at, these mathematical models were important to show that the differences between the two mammoths are too extreme to be explained by other factors."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Woolly mammoths suffered from a mutation meltdown leading to them die off, with the last of the giant animals suffering with a poor sense of smell and heartburn, according to a new study.
woolly mammoth, disappear, genomic, meltdown
339
2017-54-03
Friday, 03 Mar 2017 12:54 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved