Graduation Date

Spring 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Program

Master of Science degree with a major in Biology

Committee Chair Name

Catalina Cuellar-Gempeler

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Melissa TR Hawkins

Second Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Third Committee Member Name

Barbara Clucas

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Fourth Committee Member Name

Nicholas Kerhoulas

Fourth Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

The intraspecific genetic variation and diversity within the Humboldt’s flying squirrel (Glaucomys oregonensis) has not yet been characterized despite its elevation to full species in 2017. The San Bernardino flying squirrel (G. o. californicus) is thought to be the southernmost population of G. oregonensis and is restricted to the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains in California, but recent surveys indicate they have been extirpated from the latter locality. In order to provide baseline genetic data across the geographic range of G. oregonensis, I had the following objectives: 1) investigate the intraspecific molecular variation in G. oregonensis with a focus on the subspecies distributed in California; 2) evaluate the genetic diversity within G. o. californicus; 3) estimate if gene flow is occurring between the rest of the species and G. o. californicus. Population genetic and phylogenetic analyses, incorporating nine microsatellite loci and the partial or entire mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene, were performed on a total of 147 samples (tissue, hair, and museum specimen) using the Illumina high-throughput sequencing (HTS) platform; thereby bioinformatically coding alleles based on read count. My results support previously published work describing a south to north colonization of the species after the Last Glacial Maximum and highlight the genetic distinctiveness of G. o. californicus. The ensuing data from this study contributes valuable information toward understanding the genetic diversity within G. oregonensis, provides material to inform future conservation decisions for G. o. californicus, and has novel implications for future HTS microsatellite genotyping.

Citation Style

CSE

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