Oviductal eggs from road-kill turtles provide a novel source of DNA for population studies of the Alabama red-bellied turtle
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Genetic analyses of the endangered Alabama red-bellied turtle (Pseudemys alabamensis) have the potential to answer questions regarding the species’ population dynamics and reproductive ecology. Here we used oviductal eggs from road-kill female turtles to obtain DNA from P. alabamensis specimens. Six microsatellite markers were successfully amplified in egg yolks/developing embryos. DNA taken from multiple eggs in the same clutch showed variation in allele sizes at multiple loci, indicating amplification of both maternally and paternally contributed alleles. These results introduce DNA extraction from oviductal eggs from road-kill mortalities as a novel approach for examining the reproductive habits and population dynamics of P. alabamensis and similar turtle species. This approach may be particularly effective in exploring mating patterns and monitoring population stability in endangered species where traditional sampling methods are difficult to perform.
KeywordsConservation genetics Multiple paternity Pseudemys alabamensis Egg DNA
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