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Keywords:

  • African grey parrot;
  • microsatellite;
  • Psittacidae;
  • Psittacus erithacus

Abstract

This study describes 12 microsatellite loci identified in the African grey parrot Psittacus erithacus. Eleven were polymorphic, with observed heterozygosities 42–94% (average 68) and exclusion powers of PE1 = 0.996 and PE2 = 0.999. Microsatellites have previously been developed for a number of other parrots but showed limited cross-species polymorphism. Here high levels of cross-species amplification were observed: 71% of 32 Psittacines (22 genera). At least seven loci, 58%, were polymorphic in other African parrots as well as Neotropical and Australasian parrots, which diverged from the African parrots c30.6 and over 41.4 million years ago, respectively.