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Characterization of Cooperative Breeding for the Buff-throated Partridge (Tetraophasis szechenyii) Based on Parentage Testing

Characterization of Cooperative Breeding for the Buff-throated Partridge (Tetraophasis szechenyii) Based on Parentage Testing

Qin Liu1,2, Bin Wang1,3, Yu Xu1,4, Xiuyue Zhang1, Tao Zeng1* and Jianghong Ran1*


1Key Laboratory of Bio-Resource and Eco-Environment of Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, Sichuan, P.R. China
2College of Life Sciences and Food Engineering, Yibin University, Yibin 644007, P.R. China
3Institute of Ecology, China West Normal University, Nanchong 637002, P.R. China
4School of Life Sciences, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, P.R. China

*      Corresponding author:;


The buff-throated partridge (Tetraophasis szechenyii), a sexually mono chromatic Galliformes species, is an endangered bird endemic to western China. Previous studies suggested that it had the behavior of facultative cooperative breeding, which was rarely reported in Galliformes. In this study, we isolated 17 tetra-nucleotide microsatellite loci to test parentage and kinship for a wild population with 29 individuals from 10 different families (A-J). The 17 loci with the mean polymorphic information content (PIC) of 0.566 and the combined probability of exclusion for the second parent (CPE2 = 99.98%) met the minimum standard of international human paternity test. Among all 18 identified birdlings and helpers, bi-parents of eight offspring were successfully inferred and single parents of seven offspring were inferred at a confidence level of 95%. Except helper H1 without valid parents detected, the remaining six helpers were inferred to be at least single parents. The mean relatedness of nine females (0.08554 ± 0.01041) was smaller than that of 20 males (0.10243 ± 0.02838). The results showed: 1) cooperative breeding families might have one or more helpers, which were philopatric offspring, or were foreign individuals without kin relationship, or both; 2) both male and female could serve as helper, although male helpers seemed to be more, which were six times than the females in present study; 3) it was preliminarily inferred that female-biased dispersal existed in this study group; 4) inbreeding and extra-group paternity (EGP) were detected.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology


Vol. 53, Iss. 3, Pages 801-1200


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