Conservation Genetics Resources

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 273–278 | Cite as

Characterization of microsatellite markers for Saxicola species

  • Kim G. MortegaEmail author
  • Gavin J. Horsburgh
  • Juan C. Illera
  • Deborah A. Dawson
Microsatellite Letters


We characterized 28 unique African stonechat (Saxicola torquata) microsatellite loci. Seventeen loci characterized in 24 unrelated Saxicola torquata axillaris individuals sampled at Mount Meru, Tanzania displayed 2–26 alleles per locus and observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.29 to 0.92. Heterozygous females and sequence similarity suggested all 17 loci were autosomal. All markers also successfully amplified in nine different species ranging from Europe to Asia, including three endemic Island species. These microsatellite markers will be useful to assess the genetic diversity of the large and widely distributed genus Saxicola, a group comprising 11 recognized species with evidences of cryptic diversification. Several species show a narrow range distribution and are of conservation concern.


Microsatellite Passerine Predicted genome locations Saxicola torquata Sequence tandem repeats (STR) Songbird 



We thank Terry Burke and Barbara Helm for support. DNA extraction, genotyping and sex-typing were performed at the NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility at the University of Sheffield, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK. Next generation sequencing data was provided by Darren Grafham and Jennifer Dawe at Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Services (SDGS) of the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust (SCHfT), UK. Andy Krupa provided technical support. K.G.M. was supported by the International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology and the German Science Foundation.

Supplementary material

12686_2014_355_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (82 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 82 kb)
12686_2014_355_MOESM2_ESM.doc (57 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 57 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim G. Mortega
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    Email author
  • Gavin J. Horsburgh
    • 6
  • Juan C. Illera
    • 7
  • Deborah A. Dawson
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Migration and Immuno-EcologyMax Planck Institute for OrnithologyRadolfzellGermany
  2. 2.Department of OrnithologyUniversity of KonstanzConstanceGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative MedicineUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowScotland, UK
  4. 4.Department of OrnithologyNational Museums of KenyaNairobiKenya
  5. 5.Tanzania Wildlife Research InstituteArushaTanzania
  6. 6.Department of Animal and Plant SciencesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  7. 7.Research Unit of Biodiversity (UO-CSIC-PA)Oviedo UniversityAsturiasSpain

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