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BMC Res Notes. 2010 May 17;3:135. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-3-135.

Cross-species amplification of 41 microsatellites in European cyprinids: A tool for evolutionary, population genetics and hybridization studies.

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  • 1Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, UMR 6116 - IMEP, Equipe Evolution Génome Environnement, Centre Saint-Charles, Case 36, 3 Place Victor Hugo, 13331 Marseille Cedex 3, France.



Cyprinids display the most abundant and widespread species among the European freshwater Teleostei and are known to hybridize quite commonly. Nevertheless, a limited number of markers for conducting comparative differentiation, evolutionary and hybridization dynamics studies are available to date.


Five multiplex PCR sets were optimized in order to assay 41 cyprinid-specific polymorphic microsatellite loci (including 10 novel loci isolated from Chondrostoma nasus nasus, Chondrostoma toxostoma toxostoma and Leuciscus leuciscus) for 503 individuals (440 purebred specimens and 63 hybrids) from 15 European cyprinid species. The level of genetic diversity was assessed in Alburnus alburnus, Alburnoides bipunctatus, C. genei, C. n. nasus, C. soetta, C. t. toxostoma, L. idus, L. leuciscus, Pachychilon pictum, Rutilus rutilus, Squalius cephalus and Telestes souffia. The applicability of the markers was also tested on Abramis brama, Blicca bjoerkna and Scardinius erythrophtalmus specimens. Overall, between 24 and 37 of these markers revealed polymorphic for the investigated species and 23 markers amplified for all the 15 European cyprinid species.


The developed set of markers demonstrated its performance in discriminating European cyprinid species. Furthermore, it allowed detecting and characterizing hybrid individuals. These microsatellites will therefore be useful to perform comparative evolutionary and population genetics studies dealing with European cyprinids, what is of particular interest in conservation issues and constitutes a tool of choice to conduct hybridization studies.

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