Parentage analysis within a semi-free-ranging group of Barbary macaques Macaca sylvanus

Authors

  • F. von SEGESSER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Anthropologisches Institut und Museum, Universität Zürich-Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland
      Fax 00411 361 0112.
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  • W. SCHEFFRAHN,

    1. Anthropologisches Institut und Museum, Universität Zürich-Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland
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  • R. D. MARTIN

    1. Anthropologisches Institut und Museum, Universität Zürich-Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland
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  • Professor Robert Martin is Director of theAnthropologica1 Institute (UniversityoofZiirich). Hisprimary interest is in primateevolution. He also has a long-standing connection with the captive breeding of endangered primate species and the topic of primate conservation is now being actively promoted at the Institute. Dr. Wolfgang Scheffrahn has special interests in the genetics of humans and nonhumanprimates. He has considerable experience in the electrophoretic analysis of protein variation. Franziska von Segesser recently graduated in Anthropology. Part of the research reported here was conducted for her master's thesis. She is currently employed as research assistant in a project on genetics of endangered primate species supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Her PhD will be based on analyses of PCR-amplified DNA in wild and captive Barbary macaques.

Fax 00411 361 0112.

Abstract

This study of a group of semi-free-ranging Barbary macaques Macaca sylvanus aimed to determine paternity, to establish whether any individual male achieved prominent mating success and to assess genetic variability. Analyses involved electrophoresis of 15 blood protein systems and multilocus DNA fingerprinting (isotopic and nonisotopic). Genetic variability was low; only two blood protein systems were polymorphic. Although all DNA-fingerprints were individual-specific, they showed a high average band-sharing index value (0.67). Nevertheless, a combination of all methods permitted inference of paternity in 11 out of 15 (73%) cases tested. Several males from different age classes fathered infants.

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