Short tandem repeat (STR) variants are highly polymorphic markers that facilitate powerful population genetic analyses. STRs are especially valuable in conservation and ecological genetic research, yielding detailed information on population structure and short-term demographic fluctuations. Massively parallel sequencing has not previously been leveraged for scalable, efficient STR recovery. Here, we present a pipeline for developing STR markers directly from high-throughput shotgun sequencing data without a reference genome, and an approach for highly parallel target STR recovery. We employed our approach to capture a panel of 5000 STRs from a test group of diademed sifakas (Propithecus diadema, n = 3), endangered Malagasy rainforest lemurs, and we report extremely efficient recovery of targeted loci-97.3-99.6% of STRs characterized with =10x non-redundant sequence coverage. We then tested our STR capture strategy on P. diadema fecal DNA, and report robust initial results and suggestions for future implementations. In addition to STR targets, this approach also generates large, genomewide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panels from flanking regions. Our method provides a costeffective and scalable solution for rapid recovery of large STR and SNP datasets in any species without needing a reference genome, and can be used even with suboptimal DNA more easily acquired in conservation and ecological studies.
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