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Confirmation of low genetic diversity and multiple breeding females in a social group of Eurasian badgers from microsatellite and field data

Domingo-Roura, X., Macdonald, D.W., Roy, M.S., Marmi, J., Terradas, J., Woodroffe, R., Burke, T. and Wayne, R.K. (2003) Confirmation of low genetic diversity and multiple breeding females in a social group of Eurasian badgers from microsatellite and field data. Molecular Ecology, 12 (2). pp. 533-539. ISSN 0962-1083


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The Eurasian badger ( Meles meles ) is a facultatively social carnivore that shows only rudimentary co-operative behaviour and a poorly defined social hierarchy. Behavioural evidence and limited genetic data have suggested that more than one female may breed in a social group. We combine pregnancy detection by ultrasound and microsatellite locus scores from a well-studied badger population from Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire, UK, to demonstrate that multiple females reproduce within a social group. We found that at least three of seven potential mothers reproduced in a group that contained 11 reproductive age females and nine offspring. Twelve primers showed variability across the species range and only five of these were variable in Wytham. The microsatellites showed a reduced repeat number, a significantly higher number of nonperfect repeats, and moderate heterozygosity levels in Wytham. The high frequency of imperfect repeats and demographic phenomena might be responsible for the reduced levels of variability observed in the badger.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2003 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 n 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: complex microsatellites, maternity,Meles meles, reproductive behaviour
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: 06 Jun 2014 01:28
Published Version: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1046/j.1365-294X.2003.01707.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/352

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