Conservation Genetics Resources

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 635–638 | Cite as

A novel multiplex PCR assay for individual identification in the vulnerable Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes) using molted feathers

Technical Note


Noninvasive DNA may be used in individual identification for counting or tracking animals. Here a multiplex PCR assay, in which 16 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers were chosen and allocated into four multiplex PCR panels, was described for the individual identification of the Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes) using molted feathers. In this study, the combined exclusion probability for unrelated individuals (PID) and for individuals with sibling relationship (PID(sib)) were 7.02 × 10−19 and 2.9 × 10−7, respectively. Molted feathers (n = 59) of E. eulophotes amplified by more than 7 loci were unambiguously identified as 43 different individuals (32 females and 11 males). The results indicated that our newly developed assay could be used for noninvasive individual identification in the vulnerable Chinese Egret and other Ardeids.


Multiplex PCR Microsatellite genotyping Individual identification Noninvasive DNA Egret 



We thank Wei Lei, Site Luo, Leiguan Li and Changfu Mao who helped collect some samples for this study. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41476113, 31000963 and 31272333) and by the Fujian Natural Science Foundation of China (2010Y2007 and 2012J01149).

Supplementary material

12686_2015_464_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 2987 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Coast and Wetland Ecosystems,School of Life SciencesXiamen UniversityXiamenPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Coast and Wetland Ecosystems, College of the Environment and EcologyXiamen UniversityXiamenPeople’s Republic of China

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