Meriones shawi is an ubiquitous and endemic rodent in northern African. This species is considered as an economically important pest because it often damages crops. Moreover, the gerbillines are known to function as reservoirs for a variety of serious human epidemic diseases. Ten polymorphic microsatellite loci were identified using 454 GS-FLX Titanium pyrosequencing and a multiplex PCR assay was developed. The utility of these markers was evaluated in 30 individuals from three different Moroccan populations. Number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 7, with observed and expected heterozygosities ranging from 0.033 to 0.967 and from 0.033 to 0.729, respectively. Departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were observed at two loci. These markers will be useful resources for future population genetics studies for this rodent and pest-borne disease management.
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Vol. 49 • No. 1