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A new method to discriminate the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) from the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) using species-specific primers in multiplex PCR

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Morphometric measurements or biochemical methods are often required to differentiate deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus (Wagner, 1845), from white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus (Rafinesque, 1818), particularly when they are found in sympatry. However, these approaches cannot easily be applied to juveniles, or to degraded or ancient museum specimens. In this paper, we propose a rapid and non-invasive molecular approach to discriminate these cryptic species from one another. This technique relies on species-specific primers designed in the COIII mitochondrial region to amplify fragments of different lengths in each species. The method developed proved useful for the identification of ethanol-preserved, frozen, degraded, or dry museum specimens.

L'utilisation de mesures morphométriques ou de méthodes biochimiques est souvent nécessaire pour différencier la souris sylvestre, Peromyscus maniculatus (Wagner, 1845), de la souris à pattes blanches, Peromyscus leucopus (Rafinesque, 1818), particulièrement lorsqu'elles vivent en sympatrie. Toutefois, ces approches ne s'appliquent pas toujours aux juvéniles, aux tissus dégradés et aux vieux spécimens de musée. Nous proposons une méthode moléculaire rapide et non invasive pour discriminer ces espèces cryptiques. Cette approche utilise des amorces spécifiques dessinées dans la région mitochondriale du gène COIII qui produisent des fragments de tailles différentes chez chaque espèce. Cette technique s'est avérée efficace pour l'identification de spécimens préservés dans l'éthanol, congelés ou dégradés, ainsi que d'échantillons secs de musée.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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