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Population genetics of the California National Primate Research Center’s (CNPRC) captive Callicebus cupreus colony


The California National Primate Research Center maintains a small colony of titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus) for behavioral studies. While short tandem repeat (STR) markers are critical for the genetic management of the center's rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) breeding colony, STRs are not used for this purpose in the maintenance of the center's titi monkey colony. Consequently, the genetic structure of this titi monkey population has not been characterized. A lack of highly informative genetic markers in titi monkeys has also resulted in scant knowledge of the species' genetic variation in the wild. The purpose of this study was to develop a panel of highly polymorphic titi monkey STRs using a cross-species polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification protocol that could be used for the genetic management of the titi monkey colony. We screened 16 STR primer pairs and selected those that generated robust and reproducible polymorphic amplicons. Loci that were found to be highly polymorphic, very likely to be useful for parentage verification, pedigree assessment, and studying titi monkey population genetics, were validated using Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and linkage disequilibrium analyses. The genetic data generated in this study were also used to assess directly the impact on the colony's genetic diversity of a recent adenovirus outbreak. While the adenovirus epizootic disease caused significant mortality (19 deaths among the 65 colony animals), our results suggest that the disease exhibited little or no influence on the overall genetic diversity of the colony.

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