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A Study of the Reproductive Patterns in Alligators by Use of Fecal DNA.

To learn more about the reproductive patterns in alligators, one parental genotype was needed. However, not many females guard their nests and therefore it was difficult to obtain a blood sample. Feces, left by the guarding female, were noticed around the nests. The feces at the Santee Coastal Reserve were carefully collected in tubes and bags and later labeled. A Qiagen Fecal DNA Extraction Kit was obtained to isolate the DNA from the feces. The DNA, marked with five alligator-specific microsatellite primers, went through the PCR process using the Touchdown65 program. With the ABI 377 machine and the Genotyper and Genescan programs, the genotypes, or the size of the DNA fragments, were obtained. SCR99-23 was the only clutch that went through with the entire process. The genotypes of the offspring from that clutch were obtained through a small snip of their tail. All the offspring from the clutch SCR99-23 had at least one fragment of the same size matching with the genotype of the feces from that nest site. It was concluded that the feces for SCR99-23 could not be disregarded as a parental genotype. The Qiagen Fecal DNA Extraction Kit proved to be an efficient way to extract the DNA and if the overall protocol is perfected, statistical calculations can be performed with more confidence. Through these calculations, question about nesting habits and multiple mating partners can be answered.
Milli Patel
South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics
COPYRIGHT 2001 South Carolina Academy of Science
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Patel, Milli
Publication:Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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