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Evaluation of a microsatellite panel for use across North American populations of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

June 30, 2019

Background Microsatellite loci have been used extensively over the past two decades to study the genetic characteristics of non-model species. The relative ease of microsatellite development and ability to adapt markers from related species has led to the proliferation of available markers, particularly for those species that are intensively studied and managed. Because it is often infeasible to genotype individuals across all available loci, researchers generally rely on subsets of markers. Marker choice and genotyping errors can bias inferences made using disparate suites of microsatellite loci. This can limit comparative and collaborative efforts among research groups and has been a primary motivation for panel standardization efforts. Here, we develop a methodology for identifying a suite of markers from previous literature that can be generalizable across the range of commonly studied organisms. We specifically focus on producing a broadly applicable microsatellite panel for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Results We reviewed microsatellite panels from 58 previous or ongoing projects and identified a total of 106 candidate loci. We developed a multiplex protocol and evaluated the efficacy of 17 of the most commonly used loci using 720 DNA samples collected from the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, an area where few previous studies were conducted. Amplification errors were detected in six of these loci. The properties of the remaining 11 loci suggest that they are applicable for many common research objectives. Specifically, this panel is highly polymorphic (eight to 20 alleles per locus, polymorphic information criterion = 0.492 to 0.917), exhibits low frequencies of genotyping errors (null alleles < 10%), and is relatively easy to interpret with the aid of allele binning software. Conclusions We were able to identify a panel of microsatellite markers that show potential for broad applicability over the geographic range of white-tailed deer, as evidenced by the distribution of previous studies that utilized them. Validation in an additional region confirmed this. These results suggest that marker standardization and evaluation procedures based on literature reviews offers an effective method for identifying consolidated panels for future studies. This simple procedure addresses previous concerns about the infeasibility of standardization efforts.

Publication Year 2019
Title Evaluation of a microsatellite panel for use across North American populations of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
DOI 10.1186/s12863-019-0750-z
Authors William L. Miller, Jessie Edson, Peter Pietrandrea, Cassandra Miller-Butterworth, W. David Walter
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title BMC Genetics
Index ID 70227825
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Leetown