We developed microsatellite loci for demographic assessments of shorebirds, a group with limited markers. First, we isolated five dinucleotide repeat microsatellite loci from the Black Oystercatcher (Haematopodidae: Haematopus bachmani), and three from the Bristle-thighed Curlew (Scolopacidae: Numenius tahitiensis); both species are of conservation concern. All eight loci were polymorphic in their respective target species. Hbaμ loci were characterized by two to three alleles with observed heterozygosity ranging from 0.07 to 0.33, and two to nine alleles were detected for Nut loci with observed heterozygosity ranging from 0.08 to 0.72. No linkage disequilibrium or departures from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium were observed. The eight loci were also tested for cross-species amplification in 12 other species within Charadriidae and Scolopacidae, and the results demonstrated transferability across several genera. We further tested all 14 species at 12 additional microsatellite markers developed for other shorebirds: Dunlin (Calidris alpina; four loci) and Ruff (Philomachus pugnax; eight loci). Two markers (Hbaμ4 and Ruff6) were polymorphic in 13 species, while two (Calp6 and Ruff9) were monomorphic. The remaining eight markers revealed polymorphism in one to nine species each. Our results provide further evidence that locus Ruff10 is sex-linked, contrary to the initial description. These markers can be used to enhance our understanding of shorebird biology by, for example, helping to determine migratory connectivity among breeding and wintering populations and detecting relatedness among individuals.
Additional publication details
Polymorphic microsatellite loci identified through development and cross-species amplification within shorebirds