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An improved high yield method to obtain microsatellite genotypes from red deer antlers up to 200 years old


Correspondence: G. Sebastian Hoffmann, Fax: +49(0)6131-39 23731, E-mail:


Analysis of DNA from older samples, such as museum specimen, is a promising approach to studying genetics of populations and ecological processes across several generations. Here, we present a method for extracting high quality nuclear DNA for microsatellite analysis from antlers of red deer (Cervus elaphus). The genotyping of individuals was based on nine microsatellite loci. Because the amount of DNA found in antlers was high, we could reduce the amount of sample and chemicals used and shorten the decalcification time in comparison to other methods. Using these methods, we obtained genotypes from antlers up to 200 years old.