The development of microsatellite markers for parasitic nematodes has been hampered by technical difficulties in isolation and PCR amplification. We have investigated the potential for circumventing these problems using microsatellites from 3 trichostrongyloid species on a panel of 7 species. Ten of the 22 PCR primer pairs tested amplified in species other than the target species, usually in closely related species, and 2 new variable loci were discovered in the sheep parasite Trichostrongylus vitrinus. This study provides evidence that cross-species testing of microsatellite primers can be an effective alternative to isolation de novo.

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