The use of amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) in the isolation of sex-specific markers


R. Griffiths, Fax: +44 (0) 141 3571132; E-mail:


Sex identification is a problem in research and conservation. It can often be solved using a DNA test but this is only an option if a sex-specific marker is available. Such markers can be identified using the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) technique. This is usually a taxonomic method, as it produces a DNA fingerprint of 50–100 PCR bands. However, if male and female AFLP products are compared, sex-specific markers are confined to the heterogametic sex and can rapidly be identified. Once a marker is found, AFLP can be used to sex organisms directly or the marker can be sequenced and a standard PCR test designed.