Zoological Studies

Vol. 37 No. 3, 1998

Variation of Multilocus Minisatellite DNA Fingerprints in Avian Populations

Alexander Papangelou, Michael Ham and Michael M. Miyamoto*

Department of Zoology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

Alexander Papangelou, Michael Ham and Michael M. Miyamoto (1998) In recent years, multilocus minisatellite DNA fingerprinting has remained a primary genetic technique for the quantification of nuclear DNA variation in avian populations. After surveying the literature for use of this technique in birds, frequency distributions of average band-sharing differences among individuals were generated for outbreeding populations across species. In these populations, unrelated individuals differed by about 75% of their bands, whereas 1st-order relatives varied by approximately 40%. The latter value approximated those for populations of other species with known or suspected histories of strong inbreeding and/or genetic drift. Our frequency distributions for unrelated and related individuals of outbreeding species from many different orders establish a baseline against which the band-sharing counts of other avian populations can be evaluated for the potential effects of inbreeding and drift.

Key words: DNA fingerprinting, Multilocus minisatellite variation, Birds, Population structure.

*Correspondence: Tel: (352) 392-3275. Fax: (352) 392-3704. E-mail: miyamoto@zoo.ufl.edu