Remotely plucked hair genotyping : A reliable and non-invasive method for censusing pine marten (Martes martes, L. 1758) populations

Mullins, Jacinta and Statham, Mark J. and Roche, Tom and Turner, Peter D. and O'Reilly, Catherine (2010) Remotely plucked hair genotyping : A reliable and non-invasive method for censusing pine marten (Martes martes, L. 1758) populations. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 56 (3). pp. 443-453. ISSN 1612-4642

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We investigated the feasibility of using genetic techniques to census pine marten (Martes martes) populations by genotyping non-invasively collected samples (plucked hair and scats), with particular reference to the genetically depauperate Irish population. Novel real-time polymerase chain reaction methods were developed for species and sex identification, targeting short DNA sequences. Background genetic variation at 17 microsatellite loci was very low in the Irish population, with an average of 2.29 alleles per locus and expected heterozygosity of 0.35. Despite such low polymorphism, a panel of eight loci with a sibling probability of identity of 0.011 reliably identified individual pine marten and their gender, as determined by reference to genotypes of live trapped individuals. With high nuclear DNA amplification success rates (93.8%) and low genotyping error rates (1.8%), plucked hairs may represent a more reliable and cost-effective DNA source than scats for monitoring populations of this elusive carnivore, and similar taxa such as the sympatric stone marten Martes foina.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: Acknowledgements This research was funded by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, the Heritage Council and the Technology Sector Research Strand I Initiative. The authors wish to acknowledge the contribution of all the individuals who provided pine marten tissue samples, including: Paddy Sleeman, Peter Stuart, Ruth Carden, Daniel Buckley, Ger O’Brien, Jim Corcoran, Jim Fox, Pat Smiddy and Aline Bifolchi. Tom Kent, Brian Hearn and Joe Brazil provided invaluable expertise for the live trapping survey, which was carried out under license from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and with site-access permission from Coillte Teoranta. Thanks also to Maite Cabria for providing the sequence to MLUT27 and to Allan McDevitt, Denise O’Meara and an anonymous reviewer for constructive comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1105
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Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2022 23:01
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2023 16:05

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