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

Jacinta Mullins, Mark J. Statham, Tom Roche, Peter D. Turner, Catherine O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-453
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Census
  • Low genetic diversity
  • Martes
  • Non-invasive
  • Real-time PCR
  • ZFY

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Remotely plucked hair genotyping: A reliable and non-invasive method for censusing pine marten (Martes martes, L. 1758) populations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this