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Keywords:

  • bats;
  • cross-species amplification;
  • microsatellites;
  • Miniopteridae;
  • Miniopterus;
  • population genetics

Abstract

The large bent-wing bat, Miniopterus schreibersii (Kuhl 1819), has a long history of taxonomic uncertainty and many populations are known to be in a state of decline. Microsatellite loci were developed for the taxonomic and population genetic assessment of the Australian complex of this species. Of the 33 primer sets designed for this research, seven (21%) were deemed suitably polymorphic for population-level analyses of the Australian taxa, with five (71%) of these loci revealing moderate to high levels of polymorphism (PIC = 0.56 to 0.91). The cross-taxa utility of the M. schreibersii microsatellite markers was assessed in the microbat (Chiroptera) family Miniopteridae. Sub-species and species covering the Miniopteridae’s global distribution (with the exception of the Middle East) were selected, numbering 25 taxa in total. Amplification was successful for 26 loci, of which 20 (77%) were polymorphic. High cross-taxa utility of markers was observed with amplification achieved for all taxa for between four (20%) and 20 (100%) loci, and polymorphism was considered moderate to high (PIC = 0.47–0.91) for 12 (60%) of these loci. The high cross-taxa utility of the microsatellites reported herein reveal versatile and cost-effective molecular markers, contributing an important genetic resource for the research and conservation of Miniopteridae species worldwide.