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Mol Ecol Resour. 2012 Sep;12(5):806-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2012.03165.x. Epub 2012 Jun 23.

Sexing the Sciuridae: a simple and accurate set of molecular methods to determine sex in tree squirrels, ground squirrels and marmots.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9.


We determined the sequence of the male-specific minor histocompatibility complex antigen (Smcy) from the Y chromosome of seven squirrel species (Sciuridae, Rodentia). Based on conserved regions inside the Smcy intron sequence, we designed PCR primers for sex determination in these species that can be co-amplified with nuclear loci as controls. PCR co-amplification yields two products for males and one for females that are easily visualized as bands by agarose gel electrophoresis. Our method provides simple and reliable sex determination across a wide range of squirrel species.

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