Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Rezneat M. Darnell

Second Advisor

Peter Abramoff

Third Advisor

William F. Millington

Fourth Advisor

Ellen M. Rasch

Fifth Advisor

George A. Marzluf


Genetic mechanisms of evolution have been extensively analyzed and discussed from a theoretical point of view for the past four decades. Experimental plant taxonomists have extensively analyzed the genetic relationships of an assortment of natural populations of plants. Except for a few animal groups, such as insects and snails, very little is known about the evolutionary mechanisms in natural populations of animals. This is especially true for most vertebrates. The difficulty arises in attempting to obtain genetic information in wild animal species without a previously established breeding analysis. Furthermore, the paucity of known marker genes makes it difficult to follow the dynamics of natural populations. Since there is a lack of knowledge of the actual genetic basis for the morphological differences and distribution patterns that have been described for various species, the genetic and speciational phenomena can only be implied. There is a need for more direct methods. such as at the cytological and biochemical level, to arrive at systematic conclusions.



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