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Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci for the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) and cross-amplification in other species of Gopherus

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All members of the tortoise genus Gopherus have some degree of conservation concern. We report on the development of thirty-two new microsatellite loci for gopher tortoise, which were tested on 31 individuals from Ft. Benning, Georgia, USA. These loci possessed an average number of 5.09 alleles, an average observed heterozygosity of 0.574 and an average expected heterozygosity of 0.589. We also tested these loci in three congeners: Gopherus morafkai, Gopherus flavomarginatus and Gopherus berlandieri. The new microsatellite loci should prove useful in conservation efforts of Gopherus polyphemus and other Gopherus species.

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We would like to thank D. Bruggeman and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program for funding and facilitating this research (project SI-1656). The Fort Benning Fish and Wildlife Conservation Department and The Nature Conservancy assisted with collections of G.polyphemus. We are also deeply indebted to T. Edwards for samples of G. morafkai and G. flavomarginatus and to M. Forstner for samples G. berlandieri.

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Correspondence to Brian R. Kreiser.

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Kreiser, B.R., Ennen, J.R., Gaillard, D.L. et al. Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci for the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) and cross-amplification in other species of Gopherus . Conservation Genet Resour 5, 255–259 (2013).

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