Toward developing a genome-wide microsatellite marker set for linkage analysis in the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta): Identification of 76 polymorphic markers



Linkage analysis can be problematic in humans because of the lack of large, multigenerational pedigrees and the difficulties in obtaining phenotypic data on all family members. In contrast, large, captive colonies of rhesus macaque are a potentially valuable resource for linkage studies because detailed phenotypic and genealogical data are kept, inbreeding is avoided, and DNA samples can usually be obtained. Microsatellite marker sets for genome-wide screening are available in a number of species, but not for the rhesus macaque. We tested primers to 400 human microsatellite markers from a genome-wide mapping set using DNA from nine unrelated female rhesus macaques. We found that 76 (19%) of the primers amplified a polymorphic product using the standard protocols for human DNA. The average heterozygosity of the markers in humans was 0.80, compared to 0.65 in the rhesus macaques. This study provides preliminary data, which could be used toward the development of a linkage mapping set in this species. There would be a need, however, to confirm the Mendelian inheritance of the markers. Am. J. Primatol. 54:223–231, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.