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Microsatellite DNA markers for the study of population structure and dynamics in nutria (Myocastor coypus)

Authors

  • COLLEEN R. CALLAHAN,

    1. US Geological Survey-Biological Resources Division, Leetown Science Center-Aquatic Ecology Branch, 11649 Leetown Road, Kearneysville, West Virginia 25430, USA
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  • ANNE P. HENDERSON,

    1. US Geological Survey-Biological Resources Division, Leetown Science Center-Aquatic Ecology Branch, 11649 Leetown Road, Kearneysville, West Virginia 25430, USA
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  • MICHAEL S. EACKLES,

    1. US Geological Survey-Biological Resources Division, Leetown Science Center-Aquatic Ecology Branch, 11649 Leetown Road, Kearneysville, West Virginia 25430, USA
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  • TIM L. KING

    Corresponding author
    1. US Geological Survey-Biological Resources Division, Leetown Science Center-Aquatic Ecology Branch, 11649 Leetown Road, Kearneysville, West Virginia 25430, USA
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Tim L. King, Fax: (304) 725–0351; E-mail: tim_king@usgs.gov

Abstract

We document the isolation and characterization of 27 microsatellite DNA markers for nutria, or coypu (Myocastor coypus), an invasive rodent introduced to North America as a domestic furbearer. Markers revealed moderate levels of diversity (averaging 5.0 alleles/locus) and heterozygosity (averaging 46%). Genotypic frequencies at 25 of 27 (93%) markers conformed to Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium expectations and no linkage disequilibrium was observed in a M. coypus collection (N = 64) from Maryland, USA. We believe this suite of markers to yield sufficient diversity to resolve patterns of effective migration among subpopulations, breeding structure, and demographics. This information can be instrumental to eradication programs that attempt to prevent recolonization among subpopulations.

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