J. L. Boone, Ph.D., Ecology
Boone, J. L. 1993. Studies of the Cotton Mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus). Peromyscus Newsletter 16:29.
Taxonomic status of Peromyscus gossypinus anastasae (Anastasia Island cotton mouse)

James L. Boone
Museum of Natural History, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

Co-workers: Dr. Joshua Laerm and Dr. Michael H. Smith

Our studies of the distribution of genetic and morphological variation in small intervals of time and space are yielding results. While we have finished the data collection and lab work, we have yet to fully analyze the data. However, we have made some interesting and unexpected observations of the data.

In the genetic data, for example, we have two samples taken from the same place in February 1991 (n = 25) and August 1993 (n = 22), and a third sample taken in August 1993 (n = 22) from a site 5-8 km downstream from the first site. At the Transferrin locus, the 1991 sample has 2 alleles with frequencies of 0.78 and 0.22, and the 1993 sample at the same site had the same 2 alleles with frequencies of 0.98 and 0.02. At another locus, Carbonic Anhydrase-1 differs between the two sites where samples were taken at the same time. They both have same the same common allele, but at one site the frequencies of two uncommon alleles are 0.14 and 0.02, whereas at the other site they are basically reversed: 0.02 and 0.09. Frequencies of alleles at this locus are approximately identical in the temporal samples. We have many examples of these small-scale temporal and geographic differences.

The morphological data also shows differences among groups that we would not expect to be different. For example, we have found significant differences among males and females where sample sizes are large (accounting for age differences). However, we found that the characters where the sexes differ are not the same from site to site.

We are also continuing to work on the distribution of Lyme Disease in the Southeast and have recently made contract with the CDC concerning the Hantavirus that has killed several people in the Desert Southwest and more recently killed people in Texas and Louisiana. We will be collaborating with the CDC by providing tissue samples. Tom Ksiazek at the CDC is interested in contacting anyone collecting rodent blood samples. Call Ksiazek at (404) 639-1115 for more information.

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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