• microsatellites;
  • gibbons;
  • paternity;
  • cross-species amplification;
  • primate


Analysis of the population genetic structure and reproductive strategies of various primate species has been facilitated by cross-species amplification (i.e., the use of microsatellite markers developed in one species for analysis of another). In this study we screened 47 human-derived markers to assess their utility in the white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar). Only eight produced accurate, reliable results, and exhibited levels of polymorphism that were adequate for individual identification. This low success rate was surprising given that human microsatellite markers typically work well in species (such as macaques) that are evolutionarily more distant from humans than are gibbons. In addition, we experienced limited success in using a set of microsatellite markers that have been reported to be useful in the closely-related H. muelleri, and applying our set of microsatellite markers to samples obtained from one H. pileatus individual. Our results emphasize the importance of extensively screening potential markers in representatives of the population of interest. Am. J. Primatol. 64:19–27, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.