Characterisation and cross-species utility of 20 microsatellite markers for population and forensic applications in the endangered Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus latirostris

  • N. E. White
  • P. R. Mawson
  • R. Dawson
  • M. A. Bunce
  • P. B. S. SpencerEmail author
Technical Note


We characterise 20 microsatellite loci identified from the endangered Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris). The primers were tested across 40 individuals from the southwest of Western Australia and displayed between 4 and 11 alleles per locus with expected heterozygosities ranging from 53 to 87% and exclusion probabilities of ≥0.999. These loci will be useful in population genetic studies to facilitate conservation management decisions in addition to wildlife enforcement applications for the endangered Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo. We also tested the markers in 12 high profile and smuggled species from five genera, Cacatua, Callocephalon, Calyptorhynchus, Nymphicus and Probosciger. These species detected between 2 and 19 alleles per locus with 50–100% amplification success.


Cacatuidae Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo Microsatellites Population genetics Wildlife forensics 



This work was supported by funding from the Robert Hammond Research Scholarship (to NW), Murdoch University, Department of Environment and Conservation, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and Birds Australia. The authors with to thank Joannah Lee, Perth Zoo, Western Australian Museum, Black-cockatoo Rehabilitation Centre, Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (particularly Francis Brigg) and George Wildlife Park for samples and technical assistance.


  1. Altschul SF, Madden TL, Schaffer AA, Zhang J, Zhang Z, Miller W, Lipman DJ (1997) Gapped BLAST and PSI-BLAST: a new generation of protein database search programs. Nucleic Acids Res 25:3389–3402CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Dakin EE, Avise JC (2004) Microsatellite null alleles in parentage analysis. Heredity 93:504–509CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Garnett S, Crowley GM (2000) The action plan for Australian birds 2000. Environment Australia, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  4. Jamieson A, Taylor S (1997) Comparisons of three probability formulae for parentage exclusion. Anim Genet 28:397CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Kalinowski ST, Taper ML (2006) Maximum likelihood estimation of the frequency of null alleles at microsatellite loci. Conserv Genet 7:991–995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kalinowski ST, Wagner AP, Taper ML (2006) ml-relate: a computer program for maximum likelihood estimation of relatedness and relationship. Mol Ecol Notes 6:576–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Longmire JL, Maltbie M, Baker RJ (1997) Use of “Lysis Buffer” in DNA isolation and its implication for museum collections. Occasional Papers, Museum Texas Tech University, pp 1–4Google Scholar
  8. Manel S, Berthier P, Luikart G (2002) Detecting wildlife poaching: identifying the origin of individuals with Bayesian assignment tests and multilocus genotypes. Conserv Biol 16:650–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McInnes LM, Dadour IR, Stewart ME, Ditcham WGF, Mawson P, Spencer PBS (2005) Characterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers for the Carnaby’s cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and related Black cockatoo species. Mol Ecol Notes 5:504–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Myers N, Mittermeier RA, Mittermeier CG, da Fonseca GAB, Kent J (2000) Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403:853–858CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Peakall R, Smouse PE (2006) Genalex 6: genetic analysis in Excel: population genetic software for teaching and research. Mol Ecol Notes 6:288–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Raymond M, Rousset F (1995) GENEPOP (version 1.2): population genetics software for exact tests and ecumenicism. J Hered 86:248–249Google Scholar
  13. Saunders DA, Ingram JA (1995) Birds of southwestern Australia: an atlas of changes in the distribution and abundance of the wheatbelt avifauna. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping NortonGoogle Scholar
  14. Schuelke M (2000) An economic method for the fluorescent labelling of PCR fragments. Nat Biotechnol 18:233–234CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. E. White
    • 1
  • P. R. Mawson
    • 2
  • R. Dawson
    • 3
  • M. A. Bunce
    • 1
  • P. B. S. Spencer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Biological Sciences and BiotechnologyMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Species and Communities BranchDepartment of Environment and ConservationPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Nature Protection BranchDepartment of Environment and ConservationPerthAustralia

Personalised recommendations