Nonamplifying alleles at microsatellite loci: a caution for parentage and population studies

Authors

  • J. M. PEMBERTON,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EH, UK
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    • *Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK

  • J. SLATE,

    1. Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EH, UK
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    • *Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK

  • D. R. BANCROFT,

    1. Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EH, UK
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    • †Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Genettk, D-14195, Berlin (Dahlem), Ihnestrasse 73, Germany.

  • J. A. BARRETT

    1. Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EH, UK
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  • The authors' laboratory, which has recently moved to Edinburgh University, is mwmhing and implementing molecular methods for rapid, largescale screening of variation in natural populations. The work described here is part of a long-term, multi displinary to investigate the factors affecting reproductive success and the distribution of genetic variation in individually monitored red deer on the island of Rum; a study in collaboration with Dr T. H. Clutton-Brock and coworkers in the Department of Zoology, Cambridge and Dr S. D. Albon and coworkers at the Institute of Zoology, London.

Fax +44 131 667 3210. E-mail j.pemberton@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

While genotyping wild red deer (Cervus elaphus) at microsatellite loci for paternity assignment, we found three loci (MAP65, BOVIRBP and CelJP23) with segregating nonamplifying alleles. Nonamplifying alleles were detected through mismatches between known mother-offspring pairs and by significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg equilibria. In a wide range of molecular ecology applications, and especially in parentage assignment, the possible existence of undetectable alleles must be taken into account; this may be particularly important for microsatellite data.

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