Tracing the evolutionarily distinctiveness of Peromyscus maniculatus in Wyoming

Lyman, Valorie
The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) is the most widespread mammal in North America – occurring across a broad range of habitats and elevations. The purpose of my research project is to determine the evolutionary origins of separate populations in Wyoming, in order to understand which lineages of the species are present in the state and how they are related to other populations. Despite a significant amount of work that has been done elsewhere, few specimens of this species have been collected for the purpose of studying the evolutionary history of this species in this region. In my work, I used molecular techniques (DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and sequence analysis) to provide data for phylogenetic and population genetic analysis of P. maniculatus. These results show the geographic origins of different populations of P. maniculatus from different regions of Wyoming. This is important to evolutionary and ecological research, as well as having biomedical implications, because P. maniculatus is a vector for two strains of Hantavirus as well as numerous other zoonotic diseases.
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