Cross-amplification of microsatellite loci reveals multiple paternity in Halys pit viper (Gloydius halys)

Evgeniy Simonov, Michael Wink


For Halys pit viper (Gloydius halys) species-specific microsatellite primers are not available. We tested a set of twenty primer pairs, originally developed for various Crotalinae species, for cross-amplification with Gloydius halys. The level of allelic polymorphism was assessed for eight successfully amplified loci via genotyping of a population sample. Between three to 24 alleles per locus were recorded. We examined a female and seven of its embryos for multiple paternity using seven microsatellite loci. More than two paternal alleles were detected in two loci indicating that two or more fathers were involved. This is the first report of multiple paternity in the wild population of Crotalinae. The life history characteristics of Halys pit-viper that can be associated with multiple paternity are discussed.

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