Preliminary genetic documentation of snake species through shed skin from Uttarakhand, India: A non-invasive genetic sampling approach
Keywords:Mitochondrial DNA and conservation, non-invasive genetic, snakes, shed skin
Non-invasive sampling is one of the most authentic techniques for the genetic study of endangered and rare animal species. In the present study based on non-invasive samples, we give the preliminary genetic documentation of snake species by using cytochrome b (Cyt b) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) universal mitochondrial primers from Uttarakhand (UK), India. We sampled n=11 shed skin of unknown snake species from four different locations in Uttarakhand, India. The success rate of genomic DNA isolation, PCR amplification, and sequencing from collected samples was 100%. Afterward, in the genetics analysis, 8 out of 11 samples matched with Least Concern ver3.1 Rat snake species, two samples paired with Checkered keelback snake, and one sample matched with Indian cobra. Subsequently, 149 (Cyt b) and 207 (COI) species-specific fixed SNPs were observed. The obtained interspecific sequences divergences based on two mitochondrial loci among three snake species also show the high variability in the Uttarakhand snake population. The current study based on the non-invasive genetic sampling approach showed its importance in biodiversity conservation, especially those species which are under the endangered and critically endangered category. The genetic reference database of snake species helpful in species management, population, evolutionary-based study, and wildlife forensic in the future.
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