A DNA test to sex ratite birds

Authors

  • Leon Huynen,

    1. Institute of Molecular BioSciences and Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Massey University, Private Bag 11–222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
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  • Craig D. Millar,

    1. Institute of Molecular BioSciences and Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Massey University, Private Bag 11–222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
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    • *

      Present address: School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand

  • David M. Lambert

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Molecular BioSciences and Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, Massey University, Private Bag 11–222, Palmerston North, New Zealand
      Prof. David Lambert. Fax: + 64 6350 5866; E-mail: D.M.Lambert@massey.ac.nz
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Prof. David Lambert. Fax: + 64 6350 5866; E-mail: D.M.Lambert@massey.ac.nz

Abstract

DNA-based sex tests now exist for many avian species. However, none of these tests are widely applicable to ratites. We present DNA sequence data for a locus that is W chromosome-linked in the kiwi, ostrich, cassowary, rhea, and emu. At the amino acid level, this sequence has significant homology to X-linked genes in platyfish and Caenorhabditis elegans. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers designed to this locus allow the assignment of sex in all species of living ratites.

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