Rapid development and screening of microsatellite loci for Artibeus lituratus and their utility for six related species within Phyllostomidae

Eve S. McCulloch, Richard D. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Microsatellites are often the marker of choice for population genetic studies at intermediate spatial and temporal scales. Developing large numbers of markers has traditionally been technically difficult, and this has limited our ability to investigate evolutionary phenomena that emerge across short temporal scales. Moreover, few markers tend to successfully amplify across species boundaries. As rapid advancements in high-throughput sequencing make microsatellite development cost- and time-effective, new avenues for evolutionary, population genetic and chromosome linkage mapping research are emerging. We used a published PERL script and second-generation sequencing to rapidly and affordably develop microsatellite loci for a widespread phyllostomid bat, Artibeus lituratus, for which no markers were previously available. We used Roche FLX (Titanium) Genome Sequencing to randomly sequence ~101Mb (255065unique reads) of genomic DNA for A. lituratus, within which we discovered 30100 microsatellite loci. We designed primers for 19395 loci that contained suitable flanking regions. We ordered primers for 96 loci, 90 of which produced a single PCR product in A. lituratus. We genotyped 52 loci, and 45 were polymorphic in A. lituratus. We tested cross-species amplification for 96 loci in six additional phyllostomid species: A. planirostris, A. fimbriatus, A. phaeotis, Enchisthenes hartii, Sturnira lilium, and Carollia perspicillata. Cross-species amplification was successful for at least one species for 87 loci (A. fimbriatus), and in all species, at least 66 loci were amplified. These markers will not only facilitate future work on these seven species, but also illustrate the utility of this high-throughput method for development of primers across many species simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-913
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Ecology Resources
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Artibeus lituratus
  • Microsatellite loci
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Phyllostomidae
  • Primer development


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