INSTITUTO DE DIVERSIDAD Y ECOLOGIA ANIMAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci for the greater rhea (Rhea americana) and cross-amplification in the lesser rhea (R. pennata)
CHIAPPERO MARINA; MARTELLA MONICA B.
MOLECULAR ECOLOGY RESOURCES
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
The greater rhea (Rhea americana) is a ratite bird characteristic of the scrublands and grasslands of southern South America. Their wild populations are being adversely affected by agriculture, illegal hunting and egg harvesting. On the other hand, the commercial breeding of greater rhea is an alternative farming activity. Studies using dominant markers suggested that its mating system, which combines polygyny with sequential and simultaneous polyandry and promiscuity, may preserve genetic variability. Here, we developed 8 microsatellite loci that presented 3 to 8 alleles per locus and mean observed heterozygosities from 0.3 to 0.9, which will provide adequate markers to test hypotheses about genetic structure and mating system in greater rhea. Seven loci cross-amplified succesfully in the lesser rhea (R. pennata), of which three were polymorphic. Keywords: greater rhea, microsatellites, mating system, genetic variability.