Date of Award
Bryan E. Brokaw
The Abilene Christian University feral cat population has been the subject of many different studies throughout the years, especially those that focus on the presence and spread of diseases in the population that have potential to be zoonotic. The ACU Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program captures the feral cats to be neutered and also draws blood samples from each. Extracting and purifying of the DNA from these samples allows for disease testing and sequencing of specific genes. In a preliminary study, we used gene sequences from the mitochondrial D-loop to test the effectiveness of the TNR program maintained by the school and found lower levels of genetic diversity in the ACU population than in randomly sampled cats from the greater Abilene region. Expanding on this, sequences for the mitochondrial enzyme ATPase 8/6 will allow for increased sensitivity in the analysis of genetic diversity of the animals in the population. Comparison of the genetic differences or similarities among the cats using DNA haplotype charts can help determine the effectiveness of the TNR program by assessing its impact on inbreeding and migration within the ACU feral cat population.
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Johnson, Carley Paige, "Assessment of the Genetic Diversity of the Abilene Christian University Feral Cat Population Through the Use of Mitochondrial Genes" (2018). Honors College. 44.