Parentage analysis is of vital importance for hatchery production and breeding programmes. Two multiplex PCR protocols including seven tropical spiny lobster (Panulirus homarus) microsatellites (Pho-G06, Pho-G25, Pho-G53, Pho-G62, Pho-G74, Pho-G89 and Pho-G100) were introduced for parentage assignment. All loci were polymorphic with allele sizes from 113 to 337 base pairs (bp), observed alleles (k) from two to seven and polymorphic information content (PIC) of 0.25 to 0.73. Twenty-four stage-3 phyllosoma larvae (39 days posthatching) were collected for paternity exclusion study using selected microsatellites. Exclusion-based parentage analysis unambiguously assigned 83% of fry (20 of 24) to a single female parent. Of ten putative female parents, five have contributed to the 20 allocated offspring, with one being true parent of 11. Four others were assigned to two or more potential female parents, probably due to genotyping error or the presence of null allele. The exclusion power (EP) for the seven loci varied between 13% and 54% with known genotypes of one parent (P1) and 19% and 71% for given the genotypes of both parents (P2). The theoretical combined parentage exclusion (cEP) power for all seven microsatellites was P1 = 95% and P2 = 99%. The power of discrimination for each locus varied between 0.18 and 0.86. This report presents the first study to utilize microsatellite markers for successful parentage assignment of P. homarus. The selected microsatellites provide a practical tool for parentage analysis in hatchery production of juveniles as well as in future commercial breeding programme of tropical spiny lobsters.
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