U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

February 2004


Published in Biochemical Genetics, Vol. 42, Nos. 1/2, February 2004.


Territorial male red-winged blackbirds from five locations in the United States and Canada were genotyped using a suite of six microsatellite loci. Each population possessed unique alleles, but numbers of alleles per locus (range = 7.3–8.8) and expected multilocus heterozygosities (range = 0.76–0.80) were similar in all populations. Significant overall allele frequency differences were detected between some population pairs, and some pairwise Fst values were significant (but small). However, Fst among populations, although significant, was also small (0.009). Despite revealing low levels of population structure, the high multilocus polymorphism indicates these loci will be valuable in the genetic analysis of behavior and reproductive strategies in this species.