New polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellites improve scoring accuracy in the bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus


Alexander Nater, Fax: +41 44 635 68 04; E-mail:


We isolated and characterized 19 novel tetranucleotide microsatellite markers in the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in order to improve genotyping accuracy in applications like large-scale population-wide paternity and relatedness assessments. One hundred T. aduncus from Shark Bay, Western Australia, were screened for polymorphism. Cross-amplification was tested on four other small odontocete species. The new tetranucleotide microsatellite loci showed a more than fourfold higher scoring accuracy and significantly lower stutter formation compared to eight dinucleotide loci, although overall allelic diversity was significantly reduced.