Article: article from journal or magazin.
Polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers for forensic individual identification and parentage analyses of seven threatened species of parrots (family Psittacidae).
Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: epublish
The parrot family represents one of the bird group with the largest number of endangered species, as a result of habitat destruction and illegal trade. This illicit traffic involves the smuggling of eggs and animals, and the laundering through captive breeding facilities of wild-caught animals. Despite the huge potential of wildlife DNA forensics to determine with conclusive evidence illegal trade, current usage of DNA profiling approaches in parrots has been limited by the lack of suitable molecular markers specifically developed for the focal species and by low cross-species polymorphism. In this study, we isolated DNA microsatellite markers in seven parrot species threatened with extinction (Amazona brasiliensis, A. oratrix, A. pretrei, A. rhodocorytha, Anodorhynchus leari, Ara rubrogenys and Primolius couloni). From an enriched genomic library followed by 454 pyrosequencing, we characterized a total of 106 polymorphic microsatellite markers (mostly tetranucleotides) in the seven species and tested them across an average number of 19 individuals per species. The mean number of alleles per species and across loci varied from 6.4 to 8.3, with the mean observed heterozygosities ranging from 0.65 to 0.84. Identity and parentage exclusion probabilities were highly discriminatory. The high variability displayed by these microsatellite loci demonstrates their potential utility to perform individual genotyping and parentage analyses, in order to develop a DNA testing framework to determine illegal traffic in these threatened species.
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