Single nucleotide polymorphism markers for genotyping hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata)


Assessing population connectivity and identifying conservation units are critical to formulating effective management plans for marine turtles. We combined a multiplexed targeted enrichment capture technique and high-throughput sequencing to discover single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and to genotype hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) to examine population structure. Our approach discovered 455 potential informative SNPs for hawksbill turtles. We optimized 25 of the 455 SNPs discovered and used them to identify preliminary evidence of hawksbill population structure, suggesting that these markers will be informative in discerning conservation units when applied to larger sample sizes in future studies.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

Array Designs & Sequences: GEO Repository ID: GPL21262. Analysis pipeline R scripts: Dryad data repository


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We would like to thank Tammy Summers, David Graff, Alden Tagarino, Nancy Fitzsimmons, Neca Marcovaldi, Joca Thome, Brian Bowen, Jeanne Mortimer, Emma Harrison and George Balazs, Velkiss Gadea, Eduardo Altamirano, Didiher Chacon, Felipe Vallejo, Christina Miranda, Equilibrio Azul, Lauren Kurpita, Mark MacDonald, Sofía Chavarría, Neftaly Sánchez, Carlos Pacheco, Centro Tamar/ICMbio and Projeto Tamar/Fundação Pro Tamar, The Sea Turtle Conservancy, American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources, CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife & Department of Lands & Natural Resources and NOAA-Fisheries Pacific Islands Science Center, Fauna & Flora International, Latin American Sea Turtles, Hawaiian Island Hawksbill Project for sample contributions. We also are grateful to Steve Head and the TSRI DNA Array Core Facility for library sequencing and advice about the library preparation procedure. At the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, we thank Gabriela Serra-Valente and Amy Lanci for processing samples and Robin LeRoux, Amanda Bowman, and Vicki Pease for technical and logistical assistance, and Michael Jensen and Karen Martien for constructive feedback that improved the manuscript.


This study was funded by NOAA Fisheries (NMFS West Coast Regional Office and Southwest Fisheries Science Center).

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Correspondence to Lisa M. Komoroske.

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Banerjee, S.M., Komoroske, L.M., Frey, A. et al. Single nucleotide polymorphism markers for genotyping hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). Conservation Genet Resour 12, 353–356 (2020).

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  • DNA capture array
  • Sea turtle
  • Conservation
  • SNP
  • Genotyping by sequencing