Genetic structuring in a relictual population of screaming hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus vellerosus) in Argentina revealed by a set of novel microsatellite loci
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The screaming hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus vellerosus) is a mammal species containing disjunct and isolated populations. In order to assess the effect of habitat fragmentation and geographic isolation, we developed seven new microsatellite loci isolated from low-coverage genome shotgun sequencing data for this species. Among these loci, six microsatellites were found to be polymorphic with 8-26 alleles per locus detected across 69 samples analyzed from a relictual population of the species located in the northeast of the Buenos Aires Province (Argentina). Mean allelic richness and polymorphic information content were 15 and 0.75, with observed and expected heterozygosities ranging from 0.40 to 0.67 and 0.58 to 0.90, respectively. All loci showed departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The analysis of population structure in this relictual population revealed three groups of individuals that are genetically differentiated. These newly developed microsatellites will constitute a very useful tool for the estimation of genetic diversity and structure, population dynamics, social structure, parentage and mating system in this little-studied armadillo species. Such genetic data will be particularly helpful for the development of conservation strategies for this isolated population and also for the endangered Bolivian populations previously recognized as a distinct species (Chaetophractus nationi).
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