Genetic Adaptations to Local Sagebrush Diets in Sage-grouse

Research Project: 

RB00CNJ.27.4

Project Manager: 

Kevin Oh
Young mountain big sagebrush shown in the foreground. Photo by Dave Pyke, USGS photo gallery.
Young mountain big sagebrush shown in the foreground. Photo by Dave Pyke, USGS photo gallery.

In this project we are evaluating the degree to which different Sage-grouse populations might be uniquely adapted to the local sagebrush plants, which make up the bulk of Sage-grouse diets during the fall and winter. Using target resequencing of several candidate genes, we are examining the evidence for functional genetic variation in genes that might allow Sage-grouse to specialize on locally available sagebrush varieties. This research is in collaboration with Boise State University.