Tetranucleotide markers from the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and their cross-amplification in other marine turtle species
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The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is a federally threatened species and listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). We describe primers and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) conditions to amplify 11 novel tetranucleotide microsatellite loci from the loggerhead sea turtle. We tested primers using samples from 22 females that nested at Melbourne Beach, Florida (USA). Primer pairs yielded an average of 11.2 alleles per locus (range of 4–24), an average observed heterozygosity of 0.83 (range 0.59–0.96), and an average polymorphic information content of 0.80 (range 0.62–0.94). We also demonstrate the utility of these primers, in addition to primers for 15 loci previously described, for amplifying microsatellite loci in four additional species representing the two extant marine turtle families: olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea).
KeywordsCaretta caretta Loggerhead turtle Microsatellites Cross-amplification
This research was supported by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Daniel B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Handling of turtles was approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC, MTP #135) and the UGA Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (approval number: A2006-10002-0). We thank Paul Tritaik of the ACNWR and Meghan Koperski of FWC for facilitating beach access and permit assistance. We thank the University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research crew for providing ACNWR samples. We thank the NOAA-Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) for collecting and providing the Olive Ridley samples. We thank Zandy Hillis-Starr, from the Buck Island Reef National Park, as well as Ana Bass for the Hawksbill samples provided through the SWFSC Genetics tissue sample archive.
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