Research Article

Selection of an effective microsatellite marker system for genetic control and analysis of gerbil populations in China

Published: September 21, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (3) : 11030-11042 DOI: 10.4238/2015.September.21.16

Abstract

Although gerbils have been widely used in many areas of biological research over many years, there is currently no effective genetic quality control system available. In the present study, we sought to establish a microsatellite marker system for quality control and con­ducted an optimized analysis of 137 microsatellite loci in two labora­tory gerbil populations and one wild population. Independent sample t-tests on the mean effective allele number, mean of Shannon’s infor­mation index, and mean HE suggested that 28 of the 137 microsatellite markers were informative for gerbil genetic control. Analysis of 4 labo­ratory gerbil populations and 1 wild population using the 28 microsatel­lite loci indicated that allele numbers varied from 1.9639 (Guangzhou, GZ) to 6.6071 (North-West wild, NW). The average of HO versus HE was 0.6236/0.3802, 0.6671/0.4159, 0.4185/0.3464, 0.4592/0.3821, and 0.3972/0.4167 for the Beijing, NW, Hangzhou, Dalian, and GZ popula­tions, respectively. The GZ population showed the greatest differentia­tion, having higher RST and Nei’s standard genetic distances. An AMO­VA revealed high genetic differentiation among the five populations (FST = 0.296). The microsatellite system established here is effective and will be important in future studies for genetic quality control and monitoring of gerbil breeds.

Although gerbils have been widely used in many areas of biological research over many years, there is currently no effective genetic quality control system available. In the present study, we sought to establish a microsatellite marker system for quality control and con­ducted an optimized analysis of 137 microsatellite loci in two labora­tory gerbil populations and one wild population. Independent sample t-tests on the mean effective allele number, mean of Shannon’s infor­mation index, and mean HE suggested that 28 of the 137 microsatellite markers were informative for gerbil genetic control. Analysis of 4 labo­ratory gerbil populations and 1 wild population using the 28 microsatel­lite loci indicated that allele numbers varied from 1.9639 (Guangzhou, GZ) to 6.6071 (North-West wild, NW). The average of HO versus HE was 0.6236/0.3802, 0.6671/0.4159, 0.4185/0.3464, 0.4592/0.3821, and 0.3972/0.4167 for the Beijing, NW, Hangzhou, Dalian, and GZ popula­tions, respectively. The GZ population showed the greatest differentia­tion, having higher RST and Nei’s standard genetic distances. An AMO­VA revealed high genetic differentiation among the five populations (FST = 0.296). The microsatellite system established here is effective and will be important in future studies for genetic quality control and monitoring of gerbil breeds.