Capture and blood sampling in wild primate populations are difficult. For this reason, we need to use DNA extracted from the hair or feces of target animals. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, which amplifies small volumes of DNA, provides an ideal means for studying DNA variations in wild populations. Three sets of PCR primers which amplify highly polymorphic (GT/AC)n dinucleotide repetitive regions were synthesized from DNA sequences of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). One of the primer pairs detected at least seven alleles in one captive Japanese macaque group. Also, the fathers of four offspring whose mothers had died in a captive group of Japanese macaques were identified. In such cases, the father cannot be determined by the previous DNA fingerprinting method based on the polymorphism of minisatellite DNA. These primers were further tested with some species of the Cercopithecidae, e.g. grivet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops tantalus) and hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas). The results obtained suggest that these primers can detect stably inherited polymorphic regions in each species.
Japanese macaquePolymerase chain reactionDNA polymorphismPaternity testHamadryas baboonGrivet monkey