Conservation Genetics

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 897–907

A system for sex determination from degraded DNA: a useful tool for palaeogenetics and conservation genetics of ursids

  • Marie Pagès
  • Célia Maudet
  • Eva Bellemain
  • Pierre Taberlet
  • Sandrine Hughes
  • Catherine Hänni
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10592-008-9650-x

Cite this article as:
Pagès, M., Maudet, C., Bellemain, E. et al. Conserv Genet (2009) 10: 897. doi:10.1007/s10592-008-9650-x

Abstract

In this paper, we characterise three sex-specific genes (ZFX/Y, SRY, AMLX/Y) for all eight extant bear species and propose a new, robust and accurate molecular procedure to identify the sex of bears from non-invasive samples and fossil remains. These materials contain tiny amounts of poorly preserved deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), leaving Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification very prone to contamination and difficult to analyse. By taking into account the ancient DNA requirements, the duplex procedures that we developed are efficient not only on DNA extracted from bear faeces but also on ancient DNA extracted from a brown bear fossil 7,500 years old. Defined specifically for ursids, the procedure for faecal samples (co-amplification of ZFX/Y and SRY markers) appears more accurate than other published procedures, as it prevents cross-amplification of potential ingested prey and contamination (19 non-ursid species tested). This system can be applied to threatened bear populations to improve the reliability of sex-ratio and population-size estimates based on non-invasive samples.

Keywords

Molecular sex identificationDNA degradationNon-invasive samplingAncient DNAUrsidae

Supplementary material

10592_2008_9650_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (467 kb)
MOESM1 (PDF 467 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie Pagès
    • 1
    • 2
  • Célia Maudet
    • 1
  • Eva Bellemain
    • 3
  • Pierre Taberlet
    • 3
  • Sandrine Hughes
    • 1
  • Catherine Hänni
    • 1
  1. 1.Paléogénétique et Evolution MoléculaireInstitut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Université de Lyon, UMR 5242 CNRS, INRA, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Ecole Normale Supérieure de LyonLyon Cedex 07France
  2. 2.Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, CNRS UMR 5554Université Montpellier IIMontpellier Cedex 05France
  3. 3.Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, CNRS UMR 5553Université Joseph FourierGrenoble Cedex 09France