Polymorphic microsatellite loci from the endangered Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)
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We describe the first microsatellite loci isolated from the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), an endangered mustelid endemic to South America. Fourteen di- and trinucleotide polymorphic loci were characterised in fourteen individuals from the Pantanal wetlands, Central Brazil. Number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 5, and average observed heterozygosity was 0.577. Two loci were in linkage disequilibrium, and one further locus deviated from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, probably due to the presence of null alleles. The transferability of these markers to two other mustelids (Lontra longicaudis and Eira barbara) and to the mephitid Conepatus semistriatus was also evaluated. These loci are useful to study the ecology and evolution of these species.
KeywordsLutrinae Mustelidae Mephitidae Kinship Social system Population structure
We thank Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul for providing logistic support. This study was part of the Ph.D. dissertation of CR (at INPA, Brazil). CNPq granted a scholarship to CR, and a research grant to GM to support the field and some of Laboratory costs (# 476939/2008-9). We are indebted to Isac Teixeira de Carvalho for his fieldwork assistance, to Parque Zoológico Municipal Quinzinho de Barros and Programa de Conservação Mamíferos do Cerrado, for providing Lontra longicaudis, Eira barbara and Conepatus semistriatus tissue samples, respectively. We thank Fabiana Lopes Rocha for all her help and contacts. All collections were authorised by the Environment Ministry (IBAMA 12794-4/2012) and the dart projector was imported under International Import Certificate no 5834/DFPC from the Brazilian Government. We are especially grateful to Gabriel Damasceno for his great aim with the biopsy dart projector.
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