, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 935-954
Date: 08 May 2008

Cross-species amplification of microsatellites in crocodilians: assessment and applications for the future

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Microsatellite DNA loci have emerged as the dominant genetic tool for addressing questions associated with genetic diversity in many wildlife species, including crocodilians. Despite their usefulness, their isolation and development can be costly, as well as labour intensive, limiting their wider use in many crocodilian species. In this study, we investigate the cross-species amplification success of 82 existing microsatellites previously isolated for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in 18 non-target crocodilian species; Alligator sinensis, Caiman crocodylus, Caiman latirostris, Caiman yacare, Melanosuchus niger, Paleosuchus palpebrosus, Crocodylus acutus, Mecistops cataphractus, Crocodylus intermedius, Crocodylus johnstoni, Crocodylus mindorensis, Crocodylus moreletii, Crocodylus niloticus, Crocodylus novaeguineae, Crocodylus palustis, Crocodylus rhombifer, Crocodylus siamensis, and Osteolaemus tetraspis. Our results show a high level of microsatellites cross-amplification making available polymorphic markers for a range of crocodilian species previously lacking informative genetic markers.