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Drew Stoudt

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Rafael deSa


This project was designed to determine the evolutionary relationship between the four species groups (see Figure 1) of the frog genus Leptodactylus. Once this is established the aim is to develop an evolutionary history of the known reproductive patterns (Figure 2) of the same groups. As one can see these patterns show a gradient from aquatic to almost completely terrestrial. Deciphering this relationship is important because it may uncover a link between amphibians and those animal confined to land. This relationship was to be established by amplifying a specific region of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome, sequencing this region, and then comparing the sequences for three different species of the genus Leptodactylus- L .melanonotus, L.ocellatus, and L,silvanimbus. MtDNA was chosen because it is evolves rather slowly which allows very minute evolutionary differences to be distinguished. The region which codes for the 12S ribosomal subunit was the region of the mtDNA genome which was amplified and sequenced (Diagram 1).