Low genotyping error rates in non-invasively collected samples from roe deer of the Bavarian Forest National Park
Genetic wildlife monitoring is increasingly carried out on the basis of non-invasively collected samples, whereby the most commonly used DNA sources are skin appendages (hairs, feathers) and faeces. In order to guide decisions regarding future adequate ways to monitor the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) population of the Bavarian Forest National Park in Germany, we tested these two different types of DNA source materials to compare their suitability for genetic monitoring. We determined the haplotypes (d-loop) of 19 roe deer and genotyped each individual (tissue, hairs, faeces) across 12 microsatellite loci. The amount of missing and erroneous microsatellite alleles obtained from hair and faeces samples, respectively, was estimated based on comparisons with the corresponding tissue sample control. We observed no missing alleles in hair samples, but in fecal samples PCR failed in 30 out of 228 instances (19 individuals x 12 loci), corresponding to a frequency of missing alleles of 13.2% across all loci and individuals. In genotypes generated from hairs erroneous alleles were detected in 2 out of 228 instances (0.9%), while genotypes retrieved from fecal samples displayed erroneous alleles in 6 out of 198 remaining instances (3%). We conclude that both hair and fecal samples are generally well suited for genetic roe deer monitoring, but that fecal sample based analyses require a larger sample size to account for higher PCR failure rates.
KeywordsCapreolus capreolus Hair Faeces d-Loop Microsatellite genotypes
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