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Exploring genome size diversity in arachnid taxa

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Title: Exploring genome size diversity in arachnid taxa
Author: Yorke, Haley
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Gregory, T. Ryan
Abstract: This study investigates the general ranges and patterns of arachnid genome size diversity within and among major arachnid groups, with a focus on tarantulas (Theraphosidae) and scorpions (Scorpiones), and an examination of how genome size relates to body size, growth rate, longevity, and geographical latitude. I produced genome size measurements for 151 new species, including 108 tarantulas (Theraphosidae), 20 scorpions (Scorpiones), 17 whip-spiders (Amblypygi), 1 vinegaroon (Thelyphonida), and 5 non-arachnid relatives – centipedes (Chilopoda). I also developed a new methodology for non-lethal sampling of arachnid species that is inexpensive and portable, which will hopefully improve access to live specimens in zoological or hobbyist collections. I found that arachnid genome size is positively correlated with longevity, body size and growth rate. Despite this general trend, genome size was found to negatively correlate with longevity and growth rate in tarantulas (Theraphosidae). Tarantula (Theraphosidae) genome size was correlated negatively with latitude.
Date: 2020-01
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Figure_1_Arachnid_GS_Tree.pdf 140.6Kb PDF View/Open Figure 1 - Arachnid Phylogeny
Yorke_Haley_202001_MSc.pdf 1.083Mb PDF View/Open Main Thesis Document

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