Dr. Ghayet El Mouna Hajji

Population genetics of Tunisian and other North African ungulates

Our work on the conservation genetic of Tunisian ungulates consisted in inferring the genetic diversity, population structure, and biogeographic history of selected ungulates in Tunisia including most threatened species. Genetic data to be analyzed will consist of DNA sequences of mitochondrial genes of non coding regions and genotypes of microsatellite loci from the species included in the project. Results will allow the incorporation of genetic considerations in their management and conservation.
In the same way, we are planning to establish a new project on the conservation genetics of North African antelope species. A main aim of this study is to unravel the link between genetic diversity and population viability of most threatened Saharan and Sub-Saharan ungulate species in North Africa. This includes Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas), Cuvier´s gazelle (Gazella cuvieri), Slender-horned gazelle (Gazella leptoceros), Mhorr gazelle (Gazella dama mhorr), and Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia). To achieve this goal we need to understand the causes and consequences of genetic variation in natural and captive populations.