Characterization of the mitochondrial DNA control region of Clethrionomys and its use as a genotoxicological marker

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Texas Tech University

The purpose of this study was to develop a maternal marker which could be utilized in genotoxicological and systematic studies. The mtDNA control region was chosen as the area of primary interest because of its high rate of evolution, and the fact that this region has been shown to be useful in previous gene diversity studies (Bickham et al., 1998). To understand which portion of the mtDNA control region would be appropriate to use to address various aspects of population genetics use, I analyzed the sequence variation across various regions of the control region of the genus Clethrionomys. This work is presented in Chapter II, and has been submitted to the journal. Molecular Biology and Evolution. The authors on this manuscript were: Robert J. Baker and Cole W. Matson. The maternal marker that was chosen after consideration of the results presented in Chapter II was employed to examine the consequences of long-term chronic radiation exposure. To study the patterns of variation across time and space in exposed and unexposed populations of Clethrionomys glareolus inhabiting highly contaminated sites in the Chomobyl region, I examined three populations. The results of this study are presented in Chapter III. This chapter has been submitted for publication in the journal. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. The authors on this manuscript were: Cole W. Matson, Brenda E. Rodgers, Ronald K. Chesser, and Robert J. Baker.

Mitochondrial DNA, Genetic markers, Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, Ukraine, Clethrionomys