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Development and characterization of 16 microsatellites for Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, Choloepus hoffmanni

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Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) is an arboreal mammal found throughout the Neotropics. Due to its limited dispersal power and reliance on forested habitats, C. hoffmanni could serve as a model species for understanding the response of mammals to land cover change. To better understand sloth life history and their response to tropical forest fragmentation and loss, we developed and characterized 16 polymorphic microsatellite markers. We tested each locus with 16–23 C. hoffmanni individuals sampled in northeastern Costa Rica. The number of alleles per locus ranged from three to seven, while mean observed heterozygosity was 0.56 and ranged from 0.33 to 0.75. All loci met Hardy–Weinberg expectations and none of the loci exhibited significant linkage disequilibrium. The microsatellite markers developed herein will be used to investigate dispersal rates and gene flow among habitat patches in Costa Rica, as well as provide insights into the life history of two-toed sloths.

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This research was funded through a cooperative agreement between the Milwaukee Public Museum and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The authors thank Genetic Identification Services for assistance in microsatellite library development.

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Correspondence to Jonathan N. Pauli.

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Moss, W.E., Pauli, J.N., Gutiérrez, G.A. et al. Development and characterization of 16 microsatellites for Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, Choloepus hoffmanni . Conservation Genet Resour 3, 625–627 (2011).

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