Isolation and characterisation of hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) microsatellite loci
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Hazel dormice, Muscardinus avellanarius (Rodentia: Gliridae) are vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation, and thus protected by European Directives. We isolated hazel dormouse microsatellite sequences from enriched genomic libraries to facilitate conservation-focussed research, such as population genetics, regarding this threatened species. Fifty-three primer sets were designed from 51 newly isolated loci. Additionally, we redesigned and tested nine primer sets from previously-published hazel dormouse microsatellite sequences. These 62 marker sets were initially tested in eight unrelated individuals. Thirty-nine loci, which were polymorphic and amplified in >88 % of these samples (extracted from hair), were then genotyped and characterised in 22–26 individuals. Of these, 26 autosomal loci (18 new and eight published) adhered to Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (p ≤ 0.05) and displayed an estimated null allele frequency of <0.10. One loci pair displayed linkage disequilibrium after correction for multiple tests.
Keywords454 pyrosequencing Gliridae Rodent Hair samples Simple sequence repeats (STR)
This research was funded by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, UK Mammals Grant, and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK. Samples were collected and stored under license from Natural England, UK. We thank the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Highways Agency for allowing access to their woodlands and Jenny Stuart, Jen Bousfield and Leo Gubert for help in collecting samples. Michelle Hares provided technical advice in initial trials. The laboratory work was performed at the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility at the University of Sheffield, UK, where Terry Burke kindly provided project advice and support and Andy Krupa provided technical advice. We also thank Christian Bourne, John Kenny and Xuan Liu for 454 pyrosequencing, which was carried out at the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility at the University of Liverpool, UK.
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