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Journal of Applied Genetics 51(1), 2010, pp. 73-78

Cross-species amplification of microsatellite markers in the invasive spiny-cheek crayfish (Orconectes limosus): assessment and application

M. Hulak, V. Kaspar, P. Kozak, M. Buric, L. Filipova, A. Petrusek

Abstract: The North American spiny-cheek crayfish, Orconectes limosus (Cambaridae), endangered in its native range, is a widespread invasive species in European waters and conservationally important carrier of crayfish plague. However, its population structure is poorly known, and no informative genetic markers for the species are available. We tested cross-species transfer of microsatellite loci to spiny-cheek crayfish from 5 other crayfish species. Variability of 10 successfully amplifying loci derived from 4 species was then tested in 60 individuals of O. limosus originating from 3 natural populations: the river Danube at Bogyiszló in Hungary, a pond in Starý Klíčov, and the brook Černovický, both in the Czech Republic. The allele number within the populations ranged from 4 to 10 alleles per locus, while heterozygosity levels varied from 0.650 to 0.900 for Ho and from 0.660 to 0.890 for He. No linkage disequilibrium and no null alleles were detected. The selected markers are useful for assessing population structure, intraspecific variation, and paternity studies in spiny-cheek crayfish.

Key words: cross-species testing, repetitive elements, crayfish, invasive species, population genetics.

Correspondence: M. Hulak, University of South Bohemia, Research Institute of Fish Culture and Hydrobiology, Zatisi 728/II, Vodnany, CZ-38925, Czech Republic; e-mail:

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