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Keywords:

  • Dinaric population;
  • DNA;
  • Eurasian lynx;
  • genotyping;
  • historical samples;
  • Lynx lynx

Abstract

Historical samples, like tanned hides and trophy skulls, can be extremely important for genetic studies of endangered or elusive species. Selection of a sampling protocol that is likely to provide sufficient amount and quality of DNA with a minimum damage to the original specimen is often critical for a success of the study. We investigated microsatellite genotyping success of DNA isolated from three different types of Eurasian lynx historical samples. We analysed a total of 20 microsatellite loci in 106 historical samples from the endangered Dinaric lynx population, established from re-introduction of three pairs of lynx in 1973 from Slovakian Carpathians. Of the three tested sample types, turbinal bone and septum from the nasal cavity of the trophy skulls had the lowest percentage of samples successfully genotyped for all 20 microsatellite loci. Footpad samples, collected using a cork drill, exhibited better results in polymerase chain reaction amplification and genotyping than samples of footpad epidermis cut with a scalpel. We report simple and efficient sampling protocols, which could be widely applied for future studies utilizing historical samples.