Development and characterization of novel microsatellite loci for the Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazona aestiva, Psittaciformes, Aves) and cross-species amplification for other two threatened Amazona species

  • Gislaine Aparecida Fernandes
  • Sarah Dobkowski-Marinho
  • Victor Fernandes Santos
  • Cássia Alves Lima-Rezende
  • Helder Elias da Silva
  • Fernando Pacheco Rodrigues
  • Renato Caparroz
Short Communication


Parrots are among the most threatened avian groups of the world, with illegal pet trade being a major threat to some Amazon (Amazona genus) and macaw (Ara and Anodorhynchus genera) species. Population genetic studies and effective control of commercial breeders are important actions for the conservation of these parrot species; however, few microsatellite loci are available for most Amazona species to date. In this study, 25 polymorphic microsatellite loci were identified in silico and characterized for the Blue-fronted Amazon [Amazona aestiva (Aa)]. Loci were tested in 24 Blue-fronted Amazons from wild population from central Brazil with cross-species amplified in two individuals of Amazona vinacea (Av) and Amazona pretrei (Ap) from northeastern Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul, in southeastern and south of Brazil, respectively. The number of alleles per locus for Aa ranged from 5 to 24 with an average of 13.1. Twenty-four and 25 loci were successfully amplified for Av and Ap, respectively. The observed and expected heterozygosities for Aa ranged from 0.27 to 1.00 and from 0.35 to 0.94, with averages of 0.75 and 0.85, respectively. Nine loci significantly deviated from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium after Bonferroni correction (likely due to null alleles) and no significant linkage disequilibrium between loci pairs was detected. The combined paternity exclusion probability was very high, and the probability of identity was extremely low. This new set of microsatellite loci will be useful for analyzing population genetic structure and making conservation and management decisions, as well as for parentage analysis and the control of commercial breeding of Aa and potentially other Amazona species.


NGS Parrots Amazona vinacea Amazona pretrei Population structure Paternity exclusion 



We thanks to Jaime Martinez, Nêmora Pauletti Prestes, Tânia de Freitas Raso and Frederico Fontanelli for providing samples of wild individuals of the Vinaceous-breasted Amazon and Red-spectacled Amazon. We are also very grateful to the anonymous referees for the evaluation of our paper and for the constructive critics. This work was supported by CAPES Edital Programa Ciências Forenses no 25/2014 “Pró-forenses” (Grant Processo 23038.006832/2014-11).

Author Contributions

All authors planned and designed the research. G.A.F. and R.C. carried out the sampling, the laboratory work and performed the molecular analysis. G.A.F and R.C. wrote the manuscript with the help of the other authors. S.D.M and V.F.S were undergraduate student when this research was development, but now they are graduate students. G.A.F and H.E.S are Ph.D. students, C.A.L-R is a postgraduate student and F.P.R and R.C. are professor at the Universidade de Brasília.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funding sponsors had no role in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the paper.

Research involving animal and human participants

The experiments complied with the current laws of Brazil. The samples collection was conducted under authorization of the responsible authority Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio) using the Licenses SISBIO 12.130 and 25694-4. The research project was approved by the UnB Ethics Committee UnBDoC No 55712/2016.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gislaine Aparecida Fernandes
    • 1
  • Sarah Dobkowski-Marinho
    • 1
  • Victor Fernandes Santos
    • 1
  • Cássia Alves Lima-Rezende
    • 1
  • Helder Elias da Silva
    • 1
  • Fernando Pacheco Rodrigues
    • 1
  • Renato Caparroz
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Genética e Biodiversidade, Departamento de Genética e Morfologia, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade de BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil

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