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MMNS CONSERVATION GENETICS LAB

MMNS Genetic Research and Resources

At MMNS we use genetics as a tool to address conservation issues and resolve management questions as they relate to Mississippi Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). Typical projects investigate and/or monitor:

  • Phylogenetics
  • Species distribution and genetic diversity
  • Population structure, genetic variation, and gene flow

In addition to conducting research, the MMNS Conservation Genetics Lab houses a Genetic Resource Collection (GRC), where tissue samples representing a diverse array of taxa are reposited. This collection provides a historical and contemporary record of genetic diversity within and among Mississippi organisms and is available for use by the larger scientific community.

Current Research

  • Rangewide analysis of genetic structure in Webster’s salamander (Plethodon websteri)
  • Genetic survey and distribution of Pennides crawfish in Mississippi
  • Genetics of the oldfield mouse (Peromyscus polionotus) in Mississippi
  • Development and validation of an eDNA assay for detection of the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)

Publications and Technical Reports

Feist, S.M., T.M. Mann, D.L. Mann. Accepted. Genetic characterization of Webster’s salamander (Plethodon websteri) within a fragmented landscape, using novel microsatellites. Herpetological Conservation and Biology.

Feist, S.M. and R.L. Jones. 2016. Using genetics to differentiate between, and clarify distribution of, Procambarus penni and Procambarus clemmeri in Mississippi. State Wildlife Grant report submitted to United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Jackson, MS.

Feist, S.M., T.M. Mann, D.L. Mann. 2015. Primer Note: Development and characterization of 12 microsatellite loci for Webster’s salamander, Plethodon websteri. MMNS Technical Report No. 191, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, MS.

Contact: Sheena Feist (Tissue Curator and Conservation Resources Biologist—Genetics) at sheena.feist@mmns.state.ms.us

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