Conservation Genetics

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 1243–1245 | Cite as

Novel microsatellite loci in the threatened European long-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus) for genetic diversity and parentage analysis

  • Belén G. Pardo
  • Almudena López
  • Paulino Martínez
  • Carmen Bouza
Technical Note


The long-snouted seahorse Hippocampus guttulatus is one of the two European seahorse species. We describe the isolation of the first 12 microsatellite loci in this threatened species. These new markers were tested in non-invasive samples of 32 seahorses from NW Spain. The number of alleles ranged from 2 to 15 (mean: 6.3) and expected heterozygosity from 0.031 to 0.912 (mean: 0.500). All loci conformed to Hardy–Weinberg expectations and no genotypic disequilibrium was observed between any pair of loci. The theoretical exclusion probabilities for this set of loci, when no parental information exists or when one parent is known, were 0.973 and 0.998, respectively. This study indicates the usefulness of these novel loci for population analysis and kinship studies in Hippocampus guttulatus. Their potential application is extended to the other European seahorse species, since all loci were successfully cross-amplified in H. hippocampus.


Seahorse Hippocampus guttulatus Microsatellites Enriched library Polymorphism Parentage 



BG Pardo and A López contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (CGL2005–05927-C03-03), as part of a coordinated research (Hippocampus project, 2005/PC091). We wish to thank Miquel Planas (Instituto Investigaciones Marinas, CSIC, Vigo), Antonio Vilar (Aquarium Finisterrae) and Lucía Molina (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canarias) for supplying seahorse samples. We also thank Susana Sánchez, María López, Sonia Gómez, Lucía Insua and María Portela for technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belén G. Pardo
    • 1
  • Almudena López
    • 1
  • Paulino Martínez
    • 1
  • Carmen Bouza
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Xenética, Facultade de VeterinariaUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaCampus de LugoSpain

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