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Genetic diversity of a captive population of black muntjac revealed by a set of high polymorphism across-species microsatellites

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Eleven high polymorphic across-species loci were used to test the usefulness in the individual identification and parentage determination of black muntjac and to detect the genetic variation in a captive population of the animal. Discrimination power for individual locus ranged from 0.845 to 0.949 with the cumulative discrimination power across the eleven loci being up to 1. The combined exclusion probability across the eleven polymorphic loci in the absence and presence of genetic information on the second parent was 0.999 and 1, respectively. These results indicated that the eleven microsatellites would be highly diagnostic in individual identification and parentage testing for the species. The application of these polymorphic loci to evaluate population genetic variation indicated that the genetic diversity of the captive population (5.4 and 0.68 for A and He, respectively; n = 14) was significantly lower than that of the source population (7 and 0.785 for A and He, respectively; n=16). This supported our previous results discovered by mtDNA d-loop, i.e., the genetic diversity of the captive population had obviously declined over less than 20 years due to the paucity of founders. However, difference of observation heterozygosity between the captive and the source populations was not significant. These results indicated that loss of nuclear diversity in the captive population was first evidenced by A but not Ho. In order to retard the potential inbreeding effect, we suggested that some more wild animals should be introduced into the captive population and that a pedigree-based breeding program should be established.

Affiliations: 1: Anhui Provincial Key Laboratory of the Conservation and Exploitation of Biological Resources, Anhui Normal University, Eastern Beijin Road, No.1, Wuhu 241000, Anhui, P. R. China


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