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Molecular Genetics by a High School Class in Paradise Valley Promotes Chiricahua Leopard Frog Recovery
Southwest Region, April 23, 2009
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Mike Brown, a PhD in Genetics teaching at a charter high school in Paradise Valley, has focused his students on developing microsatellite markers for the threatened Chiricahua leopard frog.  The 10 markers developed thus far will assist in determining population-level differences among and within recovery units, and in other geographical divisions within the range of the frog.  This information is needed to  conserve regional adaptions and will assist us in determining appropriate source populations for frog reestablishment projects.  Dr. Brown and his students are engaged in both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis, DNA sequencing, PCR (polymerase chain reaction) , and gel electrophoresis - all topics typically undertaken at the graduate level in colleges and universities.  One of the high school students developed a novel approach to conducting PCR, which is more efficient in terms of costs and equipment than traditional techniques.  All of the work they have accomplished has been voluntary.  AESO will be providing additional tissues to Dr. Brown and his class needed to determine how informative the 10 microsatellite markers will be for determing population-level genetic differences.  Dr. Brown is also looking for funding to acquire additional equipment, including an Origins system needed to determine the size of microsatellites, and an incubator, autoclave, and ultra low temperature freezer.  These items can be purchased for approximately $27,000.   

Contact Info: Nick Carrillo, (602) 242-0210x203, nick_carrillo@fws.gov



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