Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci for the gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) and cross-amplification in other species of Gopherus

Brian R. Kreiser, University of Southern Mississippi
Daniel L. Gaillard, University of Southern Mississippi
Carl P. Qualls, University of Southern Mississippi


All members of the tortoise genus Gopherus have some degree of conservation concern. We report on the development of thirty-two new microsatellite loci for gopher tortoise, which were tested on 31 individuals from Ft. Benning, Georgia, USA. These loci possessed an average number of 5.09 alleles, an average observed heterozygosity of 0.574 and an average expected heterozygosity of 0.589. We also tested these loci in three congeners: Gopherus morafkai, Gopherus flavomarginatus and Gopherus berlandieri. The new microsatellite loci should prove useful in conservation efforts of Gopherus polyphemus and other Gopherus species.