Y chromosome haplotyping based on microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) has proved to be a powerful tool for population genetic studies of humans. However, the promise of the approach is hampered in the majority of nonhuman mammals by the lack of Y-specific polymorphic markers. We were able to identify new male-specific polymorphisms in the domestic cat Felis catus and 6 additional Felidae species with a combination of molecular genetic and cytogenetic approaches including 1) identifying domestic cat male-specific microsatellites from markers generated from a male cat microsatellite-enriched genomic library, a flow-sorted Y cosmid library, or a Y-specific cat bacteria artificial chromosome (BAC) clone, (2) constructing microsatellite-enriched libraries from flow-sorted Y chromosomes isolated directly from focal wildcat species, and (3) screening Y chromosome conserved anchored tagged sequences primers in Felidae species. Forty-one male-specific microsatellites were identified, but only 6 were single-copy loci, consistent with the repetitive nature of the Y chromosome. Nucleotide diversity (π) of Y-linked intron sequences (2.1 kbp) was in the range of 0 (tiger) to 9.95 × 10 -4 (marbled cat), and the number of SNPs ranged from none in the tiger to 7 in the Asian leopard cat. The Y haplotyping system described here, consisting of 4 introns (SMCY3, SMCY7, UTY11, and DBY7) and 1 polymorphic microsatellite (SMCY-STR), represents the first available markers for tracking intraspecific male lineage polymorphisms in Felidae species and promises to provide significant insights to evolutionary and population genetic studies of the species.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (N01-CO-12400); the University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.