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Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for parentage assessment in captive populations of roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja)


Gregory Sawyer, Fax: (940) 565 3821; E-mail:


Six microsatellite loci were isolated and characterized to assess genetic diversity and determine parentage in three captive roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) populations. Analysis of 61 individuals from three zoological parks and one wild population at five polymorphic loci revealed an average of six alleles per locus and expected heterozygosities from 59% to 81% (average 70%). Since spoonbills do not exhibit obvious sexual dimorphism, Aaju4, which exhibited ZW-specific alleles, was exceptionally useful for sex identification. These loci will be valuable tools for investigating genetic diversity and documenting patterns of parentage in captive roseate spoonbill populations.

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