Russian Journal of Genetics

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 220–231 | Cite as

Widely Applicable PCR Markers for Sex Identification in Birds

  • M. N. RomanovEmail author
  • A. M. Betuel
  • L. G. Chemnick
  • O. A. Ryder
  • R. O. Kulibaba
  • O. V. Tereshchenko
  • W. S. Payne
  • Ph. C. Delekta
  • J. B. Dodgson
  • E. M. Tuttle
  • R. A. Gonser


To aid in avian sex determination if birds are not sexually dimorphic and/or they are sexually immature, several molecular assays involving the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been developed. To test in a variety of domestic and wild avian species applicability of five sexing assays: previously described four assays based on nucleotide sequence differences between the Z and W copy of the chicken chromodomain-helicase-DNA-binding protein gene (CHD1Z and CHD1W), and a new sexing marker using the ubiquitin associated protein 2 (UBAP2) gene sequence. At least one molecular sexing marker was successful in 84 out of 88 examined species across 13 avian orders. These assays may be useful in breeding management of domestic and wild birds as well as in studies of avian ecology, population genetics, embryology and transgenesis.


Aves birds DNA markers PCR-based sexing 



The work was supported by grants from the United States Department of Agriculture/Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (99-35205-8566 and 2001-52100-11225) to J.B. Dodgson, and from the National Institutes of Health (R01GM084229) to E.M. Tuttle and R.A. Gonser. We are most grateful to Hans Ellegren (Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden) and Nate Kahn (University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA) for sharing aliquots of the sexing primers, 2550F/2718R and 1237L/1272H, respectively. We also thank Hans Ellegren for providing us with the UBAP2 sequence information, and Hans Cheng (USDA-ARS Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory, East Lansing, MI, USA) for sequencing the common quail CHD1 fragments. Natalie Dubois (Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA) is acknowledged for sharing the House Wren DNA samples, and Tanya Romanov (Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA) and Sarah Ford (Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN, USA) for technical assistance. We thank Olga Krestinina (Zelenodolsk, Russia) for graphical work.


Conflict of interests. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement on the welfare of animals. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. N. Romanov
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. M. Betuel
    • 2
  • L. G. Chemnick
    • 3
  • O. A. Ryder
    • 3
  • R. O. Kulibaba
    • 4
  • O. V. Tereshchenko
    • 5
  • W. S. Payne
    • 6
  • Ph. C. Delekta
    • 6
  • J. B. Dodgson
    • 6
  • E. M. Tuttle
    • 2
  • R. A. Gonser
    • 2
  1. 1.Comparative and Functional Genomics Group, School of Biosciences, University of KentCanterburyUK
  2. 2.The Center for Genomic Advocacy, Department of Biology, Indiana State UniversityTerre HauteUSA
  3. 3.Genetics Division, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation ResearchEscondidoUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Animal Science, National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of UkraineKulinichiUkraine
  5. 5.State Poultry Research Station, National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of UkraineBirkyUkraine
  6. 6.Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Biomedical and Physical Sciences Bldg., Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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