We describe a rapid sex-identification method for the forest musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) using PCR based on zinc-finger protein-encoding genes (ZFX/ZFY) located on the X and Y chromosomes. Fragments of the ZFX and ZFY genes were amplified and sequenced. The ZFX and ZFY fragments were identical in length and 94% similar in nucleotide sequence. Specific primers for forest musk deer sex identification were designed on the basis of sequence differences between ZFX and ZFY. All the primers were multiplexed in single-tube PCR. Both male and female forest musk deer showed amplification bands of 447 bp and 212 bp separated in agarose gels. A sex-specific 278-bp band was amplified only from males. These results show that testing by PCR for the presence of the 278-bp sequence is a rapid and reliable method for sex identification.
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