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Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci in muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus


S. Laurence, Fax: (705) 675-4859; E-mail:


We describe the isolation and characterization of 12 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci for the muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus. Microsatellite markers from three other rodent species were cross-amplified in muskrat and one of them was polymorphic. We observed moderate to high levels of genetic variability in these 13 polymorphic loci (five to 22 alleles per locus) with observed heterozygosity ranging from 0.48 to 0.96. These markers will be useful for further studies on population genetic structure in muskrat and potentially in other rodent species.