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Cross-amplification of nonspecific micro-satellites markers: a useful tool to study endangered/vulnerable species of southern Andes deer

Author(s): J.C. Marín, P. Orozco-terWengel, K. Romero, J.P. Vásquez, V. Varas and J.A. Vianna

Thirty-nine microsatellite loci that are highly conserved in red deer, sika deer, reindeer, Soay sheep, and other artiodactyls were tested in two vulnerable and endangered Neotropical deer (pudu: Pudu puda and huemul: Hippocamelus bisulcus) with the aim of producing a standardized set of markers that can be used successfully in noninvasive samples from these species. We also compared these nonspecific loci against eight polymorphic loci that were recently developed for huemul to determine whether the nonspecific markers could reflect the huemul’s genetic variation that was observed with the specific loci. We identified 10 suitable loci, six of which constitute a standardized set for the two species and can be used to identify them in the absence of phenotypic data. The expected heterozygosity per locus for the panel of six loci ranged from 0.461 to 0.889 (average 0.665), and the maximum probability of identity value was 6.9 x 10-6 and 3.2 x 10-4 in pudu and huemul, respectively. This set of loci has potential applications in evolutionary, ecological, forensic, and conservation studies in pudu and huemul.