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A medium-throughput SNP assay for detecting genetic variation in coding and non-coding portions of the red fox genome


SNPs are fast becoming the marker of choice in population genetics studies of model organisms. However, a lack of efficient means to assay sufficient numbers of SNPs in non-model organisms has prevented their widespread use for conservation-related applications. We established a SNP genotyping assay (including development of new SNP markers) for detection of genetic variation in coding and non-coding parts of the fox genome, using a 96-locus multiplex format. Coding SNPs were associated with Agouti and Mc1r coat-color alleles, phylogenetically basal mitochondrial mutations, sex markers, B-chromosome proto-oncogenes, and serotonin-receptor genes. Non-coding SNPs (n = 51) included 27 newly described microsatellite-linked SNPs. A panel of red foxes (n = 96) was used to characterize minor allele frequencies and Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. Genotyping accuracy was 99% for 72 SNPs relative to sequenced and known-phenotype animals.

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