Y-chromosomal markers for the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus, Pallas 1778)
Studies on demographic population history and gene flow among populations often rely exclusively on matrilinearly inherited mitochondrial DNA markers. However, by excluding patrilines, such approach introduces an analytical bias into the study. To overcome this bias, we established a set of ten Y-chromosomal markers for the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus), which comprises of three overlapping fragments spanning over the sex-determining region Y, five microsatellite loci (LeMS-Y), and two introns of the Y-linked zinc finger protein (LeZFY). Besides the generation of male specific fragments, both the ZFY and the LeMS-Y01 primer pairs also generated amplification products in females, which are visible in standard agarose gels. These polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products were easily distinguishable from the Y-specific amplicons and thus can function as internal positive PCR control in molecular sexing.
KeywordsSRY ZFY Sexing Microsatellites
We are indebted to Dr. Rogel-Gaillard (INRA, France) for the kind provision of the rabbit Y chromosome BAC clone. We also thank Dr. WJ Streich (IZW) for his guidance regarding the statistical analyses and veterinarian U Peschel (IZW) as well as U Voigt and Dr E. Strauß (IWF, TiHo Hannover) for the morphological assessment of many hares. Special thanks goes to Drs. S Blottner, M Faßbender, and K Roellig (all from IZW) for providing numerous samples as well as to F Walther who provided the Azerbaijanian hare. Our thanks also go to A Schmidt and T Noventa (IZW) who offered skilful technical assistance and to the two anonymous reviewers who provided helpful comments on an earlier draft. All experiments carried out in the course of this study complied with the existing law in Germany. JF dedicates this manuscript to Dr. Steffen Blottner, who, as a colleague and friend, has always sparked the exploration of new scientific ideas especially in the fields of hare and deer reproduction research.
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