Characterization of eight polymorphic microsatellite loci for the endangered Alabama red-bellied turtle (Pseudemys alabamensis; Emydidae)
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The federally endangered Alabama red-bellied turtle (ARBT; Pseudemys alabamensis) occurs in an isolated range in southern Alabama and Mississippi. Several distinct nesting populations of ARBT exist within this range. Here we identify eight microsatellite markers to be used for a genetic comparison of members of these populations. Previously isolated microsatellite loci in the related species Pseudemys floridana amplified cleanly from DNA extracted from ARBT tissue samples. Alleles at all eight loci were polymorphic. Alleles ranged in size from 136 to 295 base pairs in length. The total number of alleles at each locus ranged from 2 to 11. Loci showed no evidence of linkage disequilibrium or variation from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. Observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.13 to 0.88 and 0.12 to 0.84 respectively. Some variation in alleles was observed among members of different nesting populations suggesting that these eight loci will be an important tool in further assessing population structure of Pseudemys alabamensis.
KeywordsPseudemys alabamensis Alabama red-bellied turtle Microsatellite loci Northern gulf coast
Funding for this project was provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Birmingham Audubon Society’s Walter F. Coxe Research Fund, and the University of South Alabama Department of Biology. We thank Juan Loo for assistance with field work.
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