Genome-wide cross-amplification of domestic sheep microsatellites in bighorn sheep and mountain goats


Jocelyn Poissant, Fax: (780) 492-9234; E-mail:


We tested for cross-species amplification of microsatellite loci located throughout the domestic sheep (Ovis aries) genome in two north American mountain ungulates (bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis, and mountain goats, Oreamnos americanus). We identified 247 new polymorphic markers in bighorn sheep (≥ 3 alleles in one of two study populations) and 149 in mountain goats (≥ 2 alleles in a single study population) using 648 and 576 primer pairs, respectively. Our efforts increased the number of available polymorphic microsatellite markers to 327 for bighorn sheep and 180 for mountain goats. The average distance between successive polymorphic bighorn sheep and mountain goat markers inferred from the Australian domestic sheep genome linkage map (mean ± 1 SD) was 11.9 ± 9.2 and 15.8 ± 13.8 centimorgans, respectively. The development of genomic resources in these wildlife species enables future studies of the genetic architecture of trait variation.