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Characterization of microsatellites for parentage studies of white-throated magpie-jays (Calocitta formosa) and brown jays (Cyanocorax morio)


Dean Williams. Fax: + 1 305 284 3039; E-mail:


White-throated magpie-jays (Calocitta formosa) and brown jays (Cyanocorax morio) are cooperative breeders that live in complex groups composed of helpers and multiple male and female breeders. Behavioral observations and multilocus DNA fingerprinting have indicated that the social and genetic mating systems of these two species are diverse. Extra-group paternity appears to be common in both species, necessitating the use of single locus genetic methods to efficiently search for fathers. We therefore characterized 19 microsatellite loci for these two species (12 for magpie-jays and seven for brown jays) to aid in parentage studies.