Capturing genetic information using non-target species markers in a species that has undergone a population crash
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Species conservation has relied on the enormous potential of information that arises from field, laboratory and other tools. When using molecular-based tools, the technology involves a considerable effort to develop, both in resources and time. A long-held practice has been to utilise pre-existing primers developed for other closely related species to evaluate conservation questions. In this study, we present a practical approach on how to utilise pre-existing microsatellite markers in bettong and potoroo species. This information is relevant before, during and after a species crash and the approach we describe could be particularly appropriate when there is an immediate need to retrieve a knowledge-base in order to support management decisions. We determined that cross-species amplification success of microsatellite markers is inversely related to evolutionary distance of the source species although their polymorphism is not. A 'priority-list' of potential markers for potoroids is given for future conservation genetic studies. © Australian Mammal Society 2010.
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