Determination of genetic status in a closed colony of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

Marcia C Ribeiro Andrade, Cecilia Penedo, Thea Ward, Virgilio F. Silva, Luciana R. Bertolini, Jeffrey A Roberts, Jose Paulo G Paulo, Pedro H. Cabello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The long-term management of breeding colonies requires some measure of genetic diversity in the animal population. For the maintenance of breeding colonies of monkeys used for biomedical research, known pedigrees supply precise data to determine the genetic status of colonies. We present data of genetic analyses in an old closed colony of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) that was established in 1932 with 100 animals. For more than 40 years, the animals were kept on an isolated island and, in 1980, single-male breeding groups were established. A total of 333 DNA samples of these animals were typed to 20 microsatellite markers using multiplex PCR in order to verify inbreeding coefficient (α) and level of heterozygosity. We found an average heterozygosity of 64% and obtained α=-0.03293 (±0.00573). Our results indicate that the reproductive strategy used was effective because consanguineous breeding was avoided. A continuous genetic program must be carried out in order to obtain better quality primates for biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-186
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Animal management
  • Genetic diversity
  • Inbreeding
  • Macaca mulatta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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