Development of 23 microsatellite loci for Boulenger’s agama (Agama boulengeri) with partial cross-amplification in other Agama species

In: Amphibia-Reptilia
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  • 1 CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
  • 2 Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Rua Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
  • 3 Institute of Evolutionary Biology, CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
  • 4 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa

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Patterns of biodiversity and evolutionary processes controlling them are still poorly studied in desert biomes. Fine-scale markers could help answer some of the pressing research questions for desert biomes and Sahara in particular. Such markers are available for some large mammals and crocodiles, but not for small vertebrates. Here we present a battery of microsatellite loci developed for Agama boulengeri, a promising model to study evolutionary and demographic processes in the Sahara-Sahel. Loci were selected by sequencing enriched DNA libraries with 454 pyrosequencing. A total of 23 polymorphic loci were successfully amplified in four multiplex reactions. Cross-amplification of the microsatellite loci in A. agama and A. boueti was partially successful. These markers are a promising tool for assessing genetic diversity, gene-flow dynamics and demographic patterns in this group. Given the genus Agama is distributed throughout Africa, results presented here might also facilitate studies in other regions.

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