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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Effectiveness of 10 polymorphic microsatellite markers for parentage and pedigree analysis in plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae)

Kexin Li13, Jianing Geng2, Jiapeng Qu3, Yanming Zhang1* and Songnian Hu2*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 59 XiGuan Avenue, Xining, Qinghai, 810001, PR China

2 Key laboratory of Genome Information and Sciences, Beijing Institute of Genomics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.7 Beitucheng West Road, ChaoYang District, Beijing, 100029, PR China

3 Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, PR China

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BMC Genetics 2010, 11:101  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-11-101

Published: 10 November 2010



The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is an underground-dwelling mammal, native to the Tibetan plateau of China. A set of 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci has been developed earlier. Its reliability for parentage assignment has been tested in a plateau pika population. Two family groups with a known pedigree were used to validate the power of this set of markers.


The error in parentage assignment using a combination of these 10 loci was very low as indicated by their power of discrimination (0.803 - 0.932), power of exclusion (0.351 - 0.887), and an effectiveness of the combined probability of exclusion in parentage assignment of 99.999%.


All the offspring of a family could be assigned to their biological mother; and their father or relatives could also be identified. This set of markers therefore provides a powerful and efficient tool for parentage assignment and other population analyses in the plateau pika.