Establishing species-specific sexing markers suitable for non-invasive samples of species lacking genomic resources: an example using the highly endangered common hamster Cricetus cricetus
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Here we present an approach to establish species-specific genetic markers for sex identification suitable for non-invasive samples. Such markers are not yet available for the endangered common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) because of the lack of genomic resources. Using Y chromosome conserved anchored tagged sequences (YCATS) exonic primers, we obtained Y-chromosomal sequences from hamsters and sympatric rodent species. From this, we designed hamster-specific primers targeting two short Y-chromosomal intron fragments and included them in microsatellite multiplex reactions, using autosomal loci also as amplification controls. The method yielded highly consistent results. The approach can be easily applied to development of sex markers in species for which there are no genome sequences available and thus aid conservation genetics efforts.
KeywordsCricetus cricetus Molecular sexing Noninvasive Species-specific YCATS Y chromosome marker
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