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The European badger (Meles meles) breeds plurally in lowland England and is important economically due to its link with bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) transmission. To understand disease transmission and facilitate effective management, it is vital to elucidate the social structure of badger groups. To improve parentage assignment and the discrimination of relatives, we isolated and characterised 21 polymorphic microsatellite loci in 24 individuals from Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire, UK. These 21 loci increased the discrimination power between fullsiblings and half-siblings from 71 to 88%, when added to the existing 31 loci. Similarly, the combined non-exclusion probability increased from 3.0 9 10-8to 5.8 9 10-13. Newly isolated Mel-592 (FR745854) was X-linked, based on the genotypes of 48 known-sex individuals and will enhance the genetic sex-typing of badgers. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.

Original publication




Journal article


Conservation Genetics Resources

Publication Date





515 - 518