A set of microsatellite markers for Heliconius melpomene and closely related species


J. Mavárez, Fax: +507-212-8790; E-mail: mavarezj@si.edu


The butterflies in the genus Heliconius offer an exceptional opportunity for the study of the ecology and genetics of an adaptive radiation due to their extensive intra- and interspecific variation in wing colour patterns and mimetic associations. Here, we characterize 22 polymorphic microsatellite loci in Heliconius melpomene that have been shown to be useful for linkage mapping and population studies in this and other species. Levels of variation were high, although heterozygosity deficiencies were found in most loci, probably due to null alleles. The loci showed broad amplification success on six other species across the genus.