Characterization of 9 microsatellites and primers in snow leopards and a species-specific PCR assay for identifying noninvasive samples Academic Article uri icon


  • Molecular markers that can effectively identify noninvasively collected samples and provide genetic information are critical for understanding the distribution, status, and ecology of snow leopards (Panthera uncia). However, the low DNA quantity and quality in many noninvasive samples such as scats makes PCR amplification and genotyping challenging. We therefore designed primers for 9 microsatellites loci previously isolated in the domestic cat (Felis catus) specifically for snow leopard studies using noninvasive samples. The loci showed moderate levels of variation in two Mongolian snow leopard populations. Combined with seven other loci that we previously described, they have sufficient variation (He = 0.504, An = 3.6) for individual identification and population structure analysis. We designed a species-specific PCR assay using cytochrome b for identification of unknown snow leopard samples. These molecular markers facilitate in depth studies to assess distribution, abundance, population structure, and landscape connectivity of this endangered species. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

author list (cited authors)

  • Janecka, J. E., Jackson, R., Munkhtsog, B., & Murphy, W. J.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Janecka, Jan E||Jackson, Rodney||Munkhtsog, Bariusha||Murphy, William J

publication date

  • June 2014