Isolation of microsatellite loci by next-generation sequencing of the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis, Geronticus eremita
OPEN The Journal of heredity | 8 Mar 2016
S Wirtz, C Böhm, J Fritz, T Hankeln and A Hochkirch
The Northern Bald Ibis is one of the rarest bird species, extinct in Europe for 400 years and critically endangered worldwide. The European Union-co-financed LIFE+ project “Reason for Hope - Reintroduction of the Northern Bald Ibis in Europe” aims to reintroduce the species in Europe (Germany, Austria, Italy). In order to obtain information on the genetic diversity within zoo colonies and the reintroduced population, fifteen polymorphic microsatellite markers, specific for the Northern Bald Ibis, Geronticus eremita (LINNAEUS, 1785), have been isolated from next-generation sequencing (Illumina MiSeq) and are here described. The microsatellite primers were tested in 30 individuals and measures of genetic variability were calculated. Values for the observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.393 to 0.867, while expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.573 to 0.718. Ten out of fifteen loci were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and only one showed indication for the presence of null alleles. The newly developed PCR primers can be used to examine population genetic parameters e.g. for future conservation genetic studies of this critically endangered bird species.
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