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Student Prize Award Abstract
2001 Poster Paper Award


C. Ross; G. Orti and J. A. French
University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE, 68182, USA

Once thought to be monogamous, Callitrichids are now recognized as having highly diverse social systems. Analysis of paternity using genetic markers has been confounded in this group due to the presence of bone marrow chimeras between fraternal twins during development. The placental chimeras are thought to be responsible for low levels of immune and minisatellite variation among individuals, making previous attempts to locate markers for identifying paternity unsuccessful. Additionally, no studies have yet documented the degree of genetic sharing that occurs across the chimera. In order to test whether tissues within an individual differ genetically we used microsatellite markers to compare the genotypes of many tissues including blood, hair, liver, and kidney within and across individuals. We predicted that the bone marrow chimera causes certain tissues to appear genetically identical between twins; these tissues may include blood and liver. However, other tissues such as muscle and hair tissue will show differences genetically and allow individuals to be identified. To begin to address this question a single family of Callithrix kuhlii consisting of an adult male, adult female and their three sets of twins for which the paternity is assured were tested. This test has allowed us to focus on the genetic sharing between twins during development, and to validate individual identification methods.

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