Analysing wildlife through DNA

Published: Saturday 15 October 1994

-- The technique used to establish a child's paternity -- DNA fingerprinting -- will soon be applied in wildlife conservation. The technology will be used to analyse the breeding structure of wild populations and explain the genetic relationship underlying specific social interactions.

Scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, who have embarked on this project say the study will be useful in the protection of endangered species. Sponsored by the Central Zoo Authority, it will help in redesigning breeding programmes and initiating better management practices for rare and endangered species kept in zoos, points out Lalji Singh, deputy director, CCMB and head of this project.

The universal probe for DNA fingerprinting developed at CCMB will be used in the DNA fingerprint analysis of lions, tigers and their hybrids, leopards, fishing cats and other endangered species that are being bred in captivity.

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