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Oryx mtDNA Markers2019-04-19T15:08:51+00:00


Biodiversity & The Oryx

PerkinElmer Applied Genomics

mtDNA Markers in the Oryx Genus

The Oryx genus consists of four different species of large antelopes, three of which reside in the arid regions of Africa, while the fourth can be found in the Arabian Peninsula. Notably, the wild population of Arabian oryx was exterminated, and the species was saved from extinction by a breeding program of captive animals that have been released into the wild.  Thanks to the analysis of mitochondrial DNA markers, scientists have been able to define population structures, resolve taxonomies, and, crucially, detect and ultimately reduce illegal poaching and hunting.

  • Plant Renewal
    As migratory animals, oryx can be found grazing all sorts of vegetation including, grasses, herbs, roots, seedpods, melons and more. The dispersion of the seeds through their excrement provides vital nutrients allowing vegetation to grow in arid climates.
  • Key Food Source
    In certain ecosystems, oryx, a type of antelope, can be found in abundance and is a key part of the food chain. Oryx serve as sources of rich protein and energy for a range of carnivores, from lions to baboons. They are essential to some of driest regions on the planet.
  • Reintroduction Issues
    Oryx populations have dwindled in certain regions due to economic developments. Unfortunately, reintroduction is difficult since oryx are migratory mammals and the pastures that they once visited are now occupied by livestock or agriculture.

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