Isolation of novel microsatellite loci in dwarf chameleons from KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa and their cross-amplification in other Bradypodion species
A recently radiated clade of dwarf chameleon (genus Bradypodion) localised to central-southern KwaZulu- Natal province, South Africa is considered taxonomically problematic due to the observed discordance between morphology and genetics within and between its species. The clade is made up of two described species (B. melanocephalum- B. thamnobates) and possibly others-all of which are experiencing significant reductions in the quality and quantity of available habitat due to natural and anthropogenic factors. To better understand the effects past and present habitat fragmentation has had on gene flow, population structure, and genetic diversity within this clade, we developed seven new microsatellite markers for the B. melanocephalum-B. thamnobates complex, plus two markers for B. pumilum using an enrichment protocol. We tested these nine markers, along with eight markers previously designed for B. pumilum, for cross-species transferability across five species within the genus Bradypodion (B. melanocephalum, B. thamnobates, B. dracomonatum, B. sp. and B. pumilum). The number of alleles ranged from 1 to 29 with observed heterozygosities ranging from 0.00 to 1.00. Several loci did not meet HW expectations, but this may be a result of extreme demographic fluctuations that have been noted for these species. Ten loci were found to be polymorphic across all species examined, making them ideal for studies examining the population genetics of dwarf chameleons. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.