The study sequenced the whole genome of gorilla that belongs to G. beringei species in the volcanic region of Virunga in the eastern lowlands.
The team sequenced the genes of the gorillas in eastern lowland.
They compared the genome of the species of eastern lowland gorilla and western lowland gorillas and they found that the eastern lowland gorilla has genetic diversity which is the characteristics of inbreeding.
In 2012, western lowland gorilla’s first genome was established from the DNA, this gorilla is female gorilla named Kamilah.
“Three years on from sequencing the gorilla reference genome, we can now compare the genomes of all gorilla populations, including the critically endangered mountain gorilla, and begin to understand their similarities and differences, and the genetic impact of inbreeding,” said Chris Tyler-Smith, co-auther from the Sangar Institute.
The number of mountain gorillas decline to 250 in 80s in the Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda region.
Since then efforts were made to increase this number and successfully this number rose to 480.
Aylwyn Scally, geneticist from the University of Cambridge“Mountain gorillas are critically endangered and at risk of extinction, and our study reveals that as well as suffering a dramatic collapse in numbers during the last century, they had already experienced a long decline going back many thousands of years.”
Scientists say that inbreeding is dangerous because it may result in genetic mutations which are harmful and it reduces the ability to adapt to the environment, but their study revealed quite opposite to what was believed.
They didn’t found any mutations in their genes which were harmful.
Scally said, “We have shown that although low in genetic diversity they have not yet crossed any genetic threshold of no return.”
The findings revealed that gorillas can continue to survive and they can also grow in large numbers if supported.