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Looking for genes associated with a lethal form of dwarfism in California condors

Summary: Researchers will study the genetic basis of chondrodystrophy (a lethal form of dwarfism) to help identify carriers of this fatal disorder in captive and wild California condors. 

Description: Chondrodystrophy is a lethal form of dwarfism that affects California condors. The disease is an inherited cartilage disorder that results in fatal skeletal malformations as well as late embryonic death. Researchers will study the genetic basis for chondrodystrophy in California condors in order to identify the genetic mutations associated with this condition in both captive and wild condors. Genetic mutations of interest will be evaluated for their diagnostic value and used to develop a genetic screening test. This test will be invaluable in guiding decisions about birds released into the wild or paired up in captivity to help save this critically endangered species.


INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Cynthia C. Steiner, The Zoological Society of San Diego