Isolation and Characterization of Polymorphic Loci from the Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber): New Tools for Wildlife Management

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Methods to determine genetic diversity and relatedness within populations are essential tools for proper wildlife management. Today the approach of choice is polymerase chain reaction-based microsatellite analysis. Seven new polymorphic loci were isolated from a microsatellite-enriched Caribbean flamingo genomic library and used to characterize survey populations of Caribbean and African greater flamingos. In addition, four of these loci were used to verify parentage relationships within a captive-breeding population of African greater flamingos. Parentage predictions based upon gamekeeper observations of breeding and nesting did not always agree with genetic-based parentage analyses of the nine suggested family groups. Four family groups were ... continued below

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Preston, E. Lynn December 2005.

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  • Preston, E. Lynn

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Methods to determine genetic diversity and relatedness within populations are essential tools for proper wildlife management. Today the approach of choice is polymerase chain reaction-based microsatellite analysis. Seven new polymorphic loci were isolated from a microsatellite-enriched Caribbean flamingo genomic library and used to characterize survey populations of Caribbean and African greater flamingos. In addition, four of these loci were used to verify parentage relationships within a captive-breeding population of African greater flamingos. Parentage predictions based upon gamekeeper observations of breeding and nesting did not always agree with genetic-based parentage analyses of the nine suggested family groups. Four family groups were supported (groups I, II, III and VI) by there results. However, an analysis of the remaining five suggested groups, with a total of eight offspring/dam and eight offspring/sire suggested relationships, yielded seven exclusions of the suggested dam and six exclusions of the suggested sire. This put the overall suggested dam exclusion rate at 35% and exclusion rate for suggested sires at 29%. Although the keeper observation data for our family groups must be considered a variable of concern at this time, these findings are certainly suggestive that more carefully controlled studies may reveal that flamingos are not monogamous as long accepted, but rather socially monogamous or even promiscuous. Thus we have now been able to both characterize and demonstrate the utility of our polymorphic microsatellite loci. We hope these results will interest additional wildlife facilities in further parentage and behavioral studies that will collectively aid to improve monitoring and maintenance of genetic diversity, and as provide better insight into breeding habits of both wild and captive populations.

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  • December 2005

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 4:39 p.m.

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  • Feb. 22, 2008, 1:32 p.m.

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Preston, E. Lynn. Isolation and Characterization of Polymorphic Loci from the Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber): New Tools for Wildlife Management, dissertation, December 2005; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4908/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .