Wild gibbons' parentage tested by non-invasive DNA sampling and PCR-amplified polymorphic microsatellites
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Elucidating the genetic relationships among members of a social group is indispensable in studying any social system of primates.Hylobates spp. are believed to be monogamous, although some long-term monitoring studies have provided conflicting evidence. We applied a parentage testing technique to a group ofHylobates muelleri in the wild. Forty-five microsatellite loci were screened in the 12 unrelated gibbons' DNA, and 16 of the 45 loci were found to be polymorphic. Hair and fecal samples from 15 gibbons in the field were collected non-invasively. In each sample, the 16 polymorphic loci were amplified by PCR using appropriate primer pairs and separated by electrophoresis. We estimated three pairs of parents-offspring, a pair each of both father-offspring, and mother-offspring genetic relationships. Further, in two of the five cases, we revealed the family a subadult lived with was not a natal one of the subadult. The non-invasive sampling methods and polymorphic primer pairs used in this study would greatly enhance the understanding of gibbon's society in the wild.
Key wordsHylobates muelleri DNA polymorphism Non-invasive sampling Parentage test Feces Microsatellite
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