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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2006 Aug;148(2):181-9. Epub 2006 Apr 19.

Characterisation of Teladorsagia circumcincta microsatellites and their development as population genetic markers.

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Division of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Comparative Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Bearsden Rd, University of Glasgow, G61 1QH, UK.


There is a need to develop tools to study the genetics of parasitic nematodes. This is particularly urgent for those species in which anthelmintic resistance is common such as the sheep parasite Teladorsagia (Ostertagia) circumcincta. The lack of information on the population genetics of such parasites severely limits our ability to study the genetic basis of anthelmintic resistance. This paper presents the results of three approaches used to isolate microsatellite markers from T. circumcincta and the development of a panel of markers suitable for population genetic analysis. Hybridisation screening of small insert genomic libraries and interspecies PCR amplification of Haemonchus contortus microsatellites were used to identify CA/GT microsatellites. Many of these loci were associated with a 146bp tandem repeat, named TecRep, that is related to a repetitive element previously identified in other trichostrongylid nematode genomes but apparently absent from other nematode groups. A large proportion of the loci isolated were problematic for use as population genetic markers, predominantly due to a high frequency of null alleles or the association with the TecRep repeat. Bioinformatic screening of a T. circumcincta EST database identified both di- and tri-nucleotide microsatellite repeats and a greater proportion of these turned out to be more robust markers than those derived from genomic sequence. A panel of seven markers has been selected and characterised which are sufficiently robust and polymorphic to be valuable population genetic markers for this parasite.

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