RAPD Analysis of the Foothill Yellow Legged Frog (Rana boylii) Along the Eel River

Abstract:
There has been observed a general trend in the decline of Amphibian populations throughout the world. Genetic diversity surveys of declining populations have become important in assessing and managing such a population. One species of concern is the Foothill Yellow Legged Frog (Rana boylii). We collected 250 individuals from 9 different streams branching off the Eel River in Mendocino National Forest spanning a distance of 22.25 km from which we utilized Random Amplified Polymorphic Markers (RAPDs) to survey the genetic variability of the R. boylii population. We tested approximately 10 individuals from each tributary and used three different primers for the amplification of RAPDs from each individual. The resulting banding patterns were compared between individuals and gene flow was assessed for the population. Haplotype diversity and a high Fst-value estimate indicated high genetic variability amongst members of different streams along the Eel River. This R. boylii population seems to exhibit high gene flow amongst streams.