North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


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Glenn, Travis C., Ryan S. Ojerio, Wolfgang Stephan, and Michael J. Braun. Microsatellite DNA loci for genetic studies of cranes. In: Urbanek RP, Stahlecker DW, eds. 1997. Proceedings of the Seventh North American Crane Workshop, 1996 Jan 10-13, Biloxi, Mississippi. Grand Island, NE: North American Crane Working Group. pp. 36-45.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


MicrosateIIites are short tandem arrays of simple DNA sequences (e.g., [AC]n, where n ~ 10), which are often highly polymorphic among individuals. These repetitive elements are rapidly becoming the molecular genetic marker of choice for genetic mapping, parentage analyses, and fundamental popUlation genetics. We have isolated more than 50 microsatellite loci from the whooping crane (Grus americana). The microsatellites cloned from whooping cranes are unusually short and infrequent in comparison to other birds and especially so in comparison to mammals or reptiles. However, at least 13 of the 20 primer pairs developed amplify polymorphic loci. Paternity for 2 individuals sharing the same mother and 5 potential fathers was established by investigating 6 polymorphic loci. Additionally, the primers developed yield amplicons of the expected size from other crane species with greater than 90% success. Therefore, the markers we have developed will be useful for addressing questions about the captive management, population structure, and phylogeography of all cranes.