A new technique to support the preservation of endangered monkey species

16 May 2017 | Back to News, Publications and Annual Reports

Several primate species all over the world are endangered. BPRC-affiliated researchers have developed a method that will help us protect these species in an animal-friendly manner.

Among other methods, we seek to preserve monkey species by breeding animals in zoos, then releasing them into the wild. It is vital that the monkeys be characterised genetically so as to be able to maintain a variety of genes within a population. Genetic diversity plays a role in partner selection, reproductive ability and protection against pathogens.

The genes of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), a complex and diverse system that plays a vital part in the aforementioned processes, are highly suited to genotyping. The researchers developed a quick MHC typing method involving monkeys' faeces. This means this genotyping method is not unpleasant for the animals.

This new technique, published in theImmunogenetics academic journal, may be applied in several fields, particularly in the field of protecting endangered animal species from extinction.