Development of nine microsatellite markers for paramesotriton hongkongensis (Hong Kong Newt) through shotgun sequencing and cross-species amplification in other asian salamandrids

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The Hong Kong newt (Paramesotriton hongkongensis) is a tropical stream-dwelling salamandrid native to Hong Kong and coastal areas of Guangdong Province, China, inhabiting small rocky hill streams and surrounding forests. It is categorized as "near threatened" on the IUCN Red List because of range-wide habitat degradation and vulnerability to over-exploitation for the pet trade. Nine novel polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed and characterized using Illumina paired-end shotgun sequencing. Number of alleles per locus ranged from 10 to 19 (median=14). Cross-species amplification was attempted in four species of Asian newt: Cynops ensicauda, Pachytriton granolosus, Paramesotriton chinensis, and Tylototriton shanjing, which included two species of conservation concern, with varying degrees of success. The nine novel markers can be used to quantify genetic variability among isolated populations and have potential forensic applications in a number of Asian newt species that are highly threatened by over-exploitation throughout their ranges.

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Current Herpetology