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Sugar Glider Genetics Project

The Sugar Glider Genetics Project answers questions about the population of domestic Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps) in the USA, using modern genetic techniques.

Why should breeders be interested in the Sugar Glider Genetics Project?

1. Making sure you have diversity in your breeding lines.

2. Identifying animals that carry recessive genes for unique coat colors and patterns.

3. Being able to accurately plan your breeding program.

We address these goals in a three phase research program:

PHASE ONE (in progress): Genetic Diversity and Origins of Domestic Sugar Gliders in the USA. There are an estimated 1.1 million Sugar Gliders kept domestically as pets in the USA. However this large population was almost certainly founded by a very small number of individuals. In phase one will: Estimate the genetic diversity of US populations. Detect possible population bottlenecks and/or founder effects. Determine which subspecies of Sugar Glider founded the US population. Progress so far: We have collected samples from 210 Sugar gliders from nine different states in the USA. We have extracted DNA and sequenced three genes for 119 of these individuals.

PHASE TWO (requires funding): Discovery of Coat Color and Fur Patterning Genes. Since the introduction of Sugar Gliders to the USA, breeders have selected for many interesting and beautiful new coat color variants. However the genes responsible for new coat colors are unknown. In phase two we will: Sequence pairs of related individuals: one with the coat colour variant and one without. Identify coat color genes using novel genome subtraction analysis. The excellent pedigrees maintained by Sugar Glider owners and breeders shows that the community has a strong interest in genetics and are poised to use the new molecular tools that we will develop to more accurately plan their breeding programs.

What happens if we raise more money than the current funding goal? All additional funds will be contributed towards:

PHASE THREE (requires funding): Sequencing the Whole Genome of the Sugar Glider. Whole genome sequencing is becoming more accessible for non-model organisms but the cost for a fully sequenced and assembled genome is still high. A fully sequenced genome is an extremely valuable resource and will mean that Sugar Gliders become one of very few marsupials with a fully sequenced genome.

Exotic Nutrition™ supports legitimate scientific research projects with financial donations to help advance the health and well-being of Sugar Gliders and other exotic mammals. A percentage of the profit from sales goes toward funding of these scientific projects. We hope you will join us in our quest to advance research in the exotic mammal health care fields.

The Exotic Nutrition Pet Company specializes in the manufacture and distribution of exotic mammal feeds, supplements, and accessories. Our facility is located in Southeastern Virginia.

We have always prided ourselves in meeting the needs of our exotic mammal friends when they are kept in captivity, and have always strived to bring the finest quality animal diets and accessories to conscience pet owners worldwide. Ensuring the health and well-being of your captive exotic is our main concern.

We are, and will continue to be, a company whose objective is to deliver the best possible products and services at an affordable price. Our company stands behind the products that we manufacture, and continuously monitors quality and freshness to offer you, and your pets, the highest quality foods, supplements, and accessories for exotics available.

Some of the Colleges and Institutions that use our products ....

Bucknell University /PA * University of Louisville Stony Brook University/NY * Peel Zoo / Australia * University of Maryland * UCLA /Lab Animal Research * Jungle Island / Miami Fl. * Kansas City Zoo / MO * National Aquarium Baltimore * United States Center for Disease Control * Heritage Park Zoo / AZ * University of Rhode Island * Missouri State University * PETA / Norfolk VA. * University of Louisiana * Broadbent Wildlife Sanctuary /Ky * University of Montreal * Big Cat Habitat & Santuary / FL * University of Kentucky * Port Defiance Zoo & Aquarium / WA * Big Bend Wildlife Sanctuary / AL * Americas Teaching Zoo / CA * Harvard University / Cambridge MA * University of British Columbia / Canada * Washington State University * University of Kansas Med Center Lab Animal * University of Pennsylvania * Heritage Park Zoological Association * Sunset Zoo / Manhattan KS. * Baton Rouge Zoo / LA * Humane Animal Welfare Society / WI * Guadeloupe Zoo / West Indies * Utica Zoo of Utica / NY * Liberty Science Center / Animal Husbandry * Roos-N-More Zoo / NV * Shedd Aquarium / Chicago * NC Aquarium / Roanoke Island * Blue Ridge Wildlife Center / VA * Seoul National University / Bio. Science * Thüringer Zoopark / Germany * Guadeloupe Zoo / France * Sea World / San Diego * Pittsburg State University * Native Animal Rescue / CA * Humane Society of Washington County / MD * Arizona State University Animal Care * Foothills Wildlife Research Facility / CO * Zoo Atlanta * UCLA * Indian Creek Zoo / MI * North East Ohio Medical University * University of Rochester * University of Arizona / Department of Entomology * Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge / FL * Charlotte Nature Museum / NC * San Diego Zoo / Safari Park * Veterinary Care Specialists / MI * Highlands Nature Sanctuary / OH * Shearwaters Kauai Humane Society / HI * Virginia Aquarium Virginia Beach Va. * The Wildlife Conservation and Education Center NJ * El Paso Zoo / TX * Atlantic City Aquarium / NJ * LSU School of Veterinary Medicine * Animal Medical Center of Forney / TX * Squirrel Creek Wildlife Rescue / CO * American Museum of Natural History NY * University of California / Qureshely Research Lab * Sea World (Bird Dept.) San Diego, CA * Dakota Zoo / Bismark, ND * Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society / Canada * Black Pine Animal Sanctuary / IN * Eastern Wyoming College * Alexandria Zoological Park / LA * Tanganika Wildlife Park / KS * Tupelo Buffalo Park & Zoo, MS * Edenton National Fish Hatchery * Penn State University /Biology Dept * University of Western Ontario * Pocono Snake & Animal Farm * Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center * Department of Biological Sciences Texas Tech University * Yosemite National Park * Pocono Snake & Animal Farm / PA * Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine /St.Kitts * Pittsburg State University(KS)/Biology Dept * University of Missouri / Veterinary * Texas Tech University * Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium * Purdue University / Biology Dept. * El Paso Zoo / El Paso TX * Hutchinson Zoo / KS * Northeastern University * Sandy Bottom Nature Park / Hampton Va. * University of Kansas /Lab Animal Resources *Virginia Zoo / Norfolk Va.

Glider Genetics Project