Thesis Title

Genetic, Morphological, and Behavioral Analysis of the Oklahoma Salamander (Eurycea Tynerensis) in Southwestern Missouri

Date of Graduation

Fall 2007

Degree

Master of Science in Biology

Department

Biology

Committee Chair

Mark McKnight

Keywords

Caudata, color morphs, Eurycea tynerensis, life-history mode, paedomorphosis, Plethodontidae

Subject Categories

Biology

Abstract

I investigated populations of Eurycea tynerensis which differed in coloration and life history mode. Using morphometrics and behavioral trials, I tested two sympatric color morphs for the presence of a cryptic species. I also obtained sequence data from the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene of 21 salamanders, representing 4 populations. Sympatric color morphs did not differ significantly in morphometrics or in behavior. Sequencing data reveal that the differences in life history and coloration seen all arise from within the same mitochondrial matriline. While differences in life history could be under genetic control or a result of available microhabitat, it is likely that the color morphs are a result of Mendelian genetics.

Copyright

© Nathaniel Aaron Nelson

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Dissertation/Thesis

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