Characterization of 20 microsatellite markers in the plowshare tortoise, Astrochelys yniphora
The plowshare tortoise, Astrochelys yniphora, or Angonoka is one of Madagascar’s land tortoises, living in the vicinity of Baly Bay bamboo scrub in northwest Madagascar. Primary threats to this endangered species are due to poaching for pet trade and the loss and fragmentation of its natural habitat. The number of wild Angonoka is estimated to be ~400. Twenty polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci were isolated from a genomic DNA on individuals from Andrafiafaly in Baly Bay National Park, Madagascar. Results from this study will help for future studies of the social structure and population dynamics of this species as well as identification of confiscated individuals from the illegal pet trade.
KeywordsPlowshare tortoise Angonoka Astrochelys yniphora Testudinidae Microsatellites Madagascar
The authors wish to acknowledge the generosity of Bill and Berniece Grewcock for their support of student interns. This research was also supported by grants from the Ahmanson Foundation, which have provided the laboratory with three ABI automated DNA sequencers. We graciously thank the Theodore F. and Claire M. Hubbard Family Foundation for their support of the Henry Doorly Zoo/Madagascar Biodiversity and Biogeography Project. This project would not have been possible without the support of the staff, guides, drivers, and porters of the Institute for Conservation of Tropical Environments, Madagascar (ICTE-MICET) and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Association Nationale pour la Gestion des Aires Protégées (ANGAP) and the Ministère des Eaux et Foret, Madagascar.
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