Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas F. Laughlin

Committee Members

Istvan Karsai, James R. Stewart


Plethodon yonahlossee is the largest eastern Plethodontid salamander. It has been classified as a species of greatest conservation need by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Found only in mountainous areas along the borders of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia, populations of the yonahlossee are considered to be rare and local throughout their range. Genetic differentiation among populations of any species is usually attributable to long-standing, extrinsic barriers to gene flow. Because of their disjunct population structure and some observed morphological variation, genetic differentiation among yonahlossee populations is expected. A genetic structure study of yonahlossee was conducted to identify any genetically differentiated populations as conservation units. One mitochondrial DNA marker as well one nuclear DNA marker were amplified using polymerase chain reaction. After analysis, both markers show genetic differentiation suggesting geographic isolation. This information can be used by management agencies for the protection and conservation of the species.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.