Molecular Methods Blessing or Curse

Aline Finger and Charlotte Klank

Abstract Conservation genetic studies make use of molecular methods to obtain valuable information which help optimizing management strategies especially for threatened species. This chapter presents an overview of different molecular markers (microsatellites, AFLPs, RFLPs, RAPDs, mtDNA, allozymes) and their applications in conservation and genetic studies. Microsatellites have shown to be, though expensive, currently the most popular genetic marker as the high degree of polymorphism is ideal to study small geographical scales of species. RFLPs, RAPDs and allozymes still represent useful markers for studies of both, small and larger geographical scales. Low degree of polymorphism, no detection of alleles and low reproducibility characterize some drawbacks. To examine phylogeography MtDNA seems to be the best choice.

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