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Parentage assignment and extra-group paternity in a cooperative breeder: the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis)

Richardson, D.S., Jury, F.L., Blaakmeer, K., Komdeur, J. and Burke, T. (2001) Parentage assignment and extra-group paternity in a cooperative breeder: the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis). Molecular Ecology, 10 (9). pp. 2263-2273. ISSN 0962-1083


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We describe the development and initial application of a semiautomated parentage testing system in the Seychelles warbler ( Acrocephalus sechellensis ). This system used fluorescently labelled primers for 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci in two multiplex loading groups to genotype efficiently over 96% of the warbler population on Cousin island. When used in conjunction with the program cervus , this system provided sufficient power to assign maternity and paternity within the Seychelles warbler, despite the complications associated with its cooperative breeding system and a relatively low level of genetic variation. Parentage analyses showed that subordinate ‘helper’ females as well as the dominant ‘primary’ females laid eggs in communal nests, indicating that the Seychelles warbler has an intermediate level of female reproductive skew, in between the alternative extremes of helper-at-the-nest and joint nesting systems. Forty-four per cent of helpers bred successfully,accounting for 15% of all offspring. Forty per cent of young resulted from extra-group paternity.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2001 Blackwell Science Ltd. This is an electronic version of an article published in Molecular Ecology: complete citation information for the final version of the paper, as published in the print edition of Molecular Ecology, is available on the Blackwell Synergy online delivery service, accessible via the journal's website at http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0962-1083 or http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/
Keywords: cooperative breeding, extra-pair paternity, likelihood analysis, microsatellite, parentage
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2005
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 17:59
Published Version: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1046/j.0962-1083.2001.01355.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/348

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