Cross-amplification of polymorphic microsatellites reveals extra-pair paternity and brood parasitism in Sturnus vulgaris


A. Loyau, Fax: +33144273516; E-mail:


We tested the cross-amplification of 37 microsatellites in a population of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Twenty-three of them amplified and five exhibited a large number of alleles per locus and high heterozygosity (on average: 14.6 alleles/locus and HE = 0.704). We assessed the occurrence of extra-pair paternity (EPP) and intraspecific brood parasitism (IBP) in this population. The EPP rate was 16% to 18% offspring from 43% to 45% of nests. IBP was very variable between two successive years (14% to 27% chicks from 25% to 64% of clutches). These five polymorphic markers will be of potential use in studies of genetic diversity, population structure and reproductive strategy of this species.