Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Biology (PhD)

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Douglas D. Rhoads

Committee Member

Steven J. Beaupre

Second Committee Member

David M. Ivey

Third Committee Member

Matthew McIntosh


Ascites, Crotalus horridus, Gene flow, Genotype, Pulmonary hypertension, Variable number tandem repeats


We used variable number tandem repeats (VNTR) to validate the chicken as a human medical model for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. We identified seven regions on four chromosomes and interrogated for VNTR markers that significantly associate with Pulmonary Hypertension Syndrome/ascites. In those regions, we identified 7 candidate genes; AGTR1, ACE, p38MAPK, SST, 5HT2B, NET1, and CALM3 for further analysis as significantly contributing QTL for ascites/PHS. We also used variable number tandem repeats to measure gene flow and gather evidence for multiple paternity in a population of Timber rattlesnakes, Crotalus horridus. We were able to verify 1 VNTR that can be used to assess gene flow in and among our populations. We were also able to use this VNTR to provide evidence of multiple paternity in the Timber rattlesnake.