An efficient molecular sexing of the vulnerable Chinese egret (Egretta eulophotes) from faeces samples
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A species-specific primer set has been developed and used with a preamplification and multiplex PCR method for molecular sexing from the faeces of the vulnerable Chinese egret (Egretta eulophotes). This new assay produced one common fragment in both females and males (approximately 230 bp) and one specific fragment in females (about 136 bp). A highly efficient sex identification result (97.7%, 171/175 faeces samples) and great versatility on seven other ardeid species suggests that this improved molecular approach is a sensitive sexing tool for the Chinese egret and other ardeid species. It will facilitate further studies on their population sex structure using non-invasive genetic samples.
KeywordsSex identification Faecal DNA Egretta eulophotes Vulnerable species Ardeidae
We thank Zeng Wang, Zhijun Huang and Hang Gao for their helps in sampling and thank Yufei Dai and Zhenni Peng for their assists in lab work. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 30970380,31000963 and J1030626) and by the Fujian or Henan Natural Science Foundation of China (2010Y2007,2010J05084, 2011J01247 and 102102110180).
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