Gene transcript profiling in desert bighorn sheep

Wildlife Society Bulletin
By: , and 



Respiratory disease is a key factor affecting the conservation and recovery of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis ) populations. Innovative, minimally invasive tools such as gene transcription–based diagnostics have the potential to improve our understanding of the broad range of factors that can affect the health of wild sheep. Evaluation of transcript levels for genes representative of multiple internal systems enables measurement of physiological responses of individuals as well as populations to environmental stressors such as pathogens, nutritional deficiency, or contaminants. We developed real‐time polymerase chain reaction assays for 14 genes of interest representing systems including inflammation, cell signaling, detoxification, antiviral, antibacterial, or general stress. Initial results from desert bighorn sheep (O. c. nelsoni ) sampled from the River, Muddy, and Bare mountains as well as from the Pintwater Range, in southern Nevada, USA, indicated unique transcript profiles associated with each population. This initial study provides the framework from which controlled variable or longitudinal studies can be made, thus augmenting the potential to inform management actions in the future.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Gene transcript profiling in desert bighorn sheep
Series title Wildlife Society Bulletin
DOI 10.1002/wsb.1078
Volume 44
Issue 2
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher The Wildlife Society
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 10 p.
First page 323
Last page 332
Country United States
State Nevada
Other Geospatial Bare Mountain Range, Muddy Mountains, Pintwater Range, River Mountains
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