We present novel microsatellite markers of the Japanese abalone (Haliotis discus hannai) for general mapping studies in this species. A total of 75 microsatellite markers were developed, and the allele-transmission patterns of these markers were studied in three families generated by pair crosses. For allele scoring, we employed the 5′-tailed primer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, which substantially reduces the cost for fluorescent labeling of primers. Of the 225 possible marker-family combinations (75 markers x 3 families), 18 cases of informative null-allele segregation were inferred. When such null-allele segregations were allowed, more than 70% of the 75 markers in the families turned out to be markers with an expected segregation ratio of 1:1:1:1, allowing maximal exploitation of the codominant nature of microsatellite markers. There were 16 instances of segregation distortion at the 5% significance level. The test for independence of segregation assigned the 75 markers into 17 linkage groups, which is in close agreement with the haploid chromosome number of H. discus hannai (n = 18). Six markers could not be placed into any linkage group. We suggest that these markers could help construct a H. discus hannai linkage map.
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