Document Type



The ocean sunfish Mola mola is a frequent summer visitor to the waters off of Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. In late fall, water temperatures drop and some animals strand on area beaches. Stranded animals provide an easily available source of DNA to study the population genetics of this species with the specific goal to learn about genetic variation within and between individuals in this population. This study will continue to identify and characterize microsatellite repeat regions that will be used to study genetic variation. Four new microsatellite regions have been identified and amplified using polymerase chain reaction conditions that were modified to work well on each of these microsatellite sites. DNA sequences from these amplified products confirm that the correct sequences were amplified and show promising results on two individual fish. After confirming these results using a larger sample of fish, we will then use these new microsatellite sites, along with one previously characterized microsatellite, to collect data on genetic variability in a larger sample of fish. Using statistical software, the overall amount of genetic variation at these microsatellite regions will be determined by analyzing the number of alleles and the allele frequencies. Using this information, the genetic heterogeneity will be determined within and between individuals.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Michael Carson, Thesis Advisor

Dr. Heather Marella, Committee Member

Dr. Thilina Surasinghe, Committee Member

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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