Noninvasive Saliva Collection for DNA Analyses From Free‐Ranging Tibetan Macaques (Macaca thibetana)

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Anthropology and Museum Studies

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Cryptic and endangered fauna, including many primate taxa, pose challenges for noninvasive collection of biomaterials. As a result, application of noninvasive genotyping to primates has been limited to the use of samples such as feces and hair for the extraction of PCR‐amplifiable DNA. We present a method for noninvasive collection of saliva from habituated, free‐ranging monkeys. The method utilizes a low‐cost apparatus that controls for contamination and is usable with individual, free‐ranging primates. Saliva samples were collected from 18 individuals in a population of Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) in the Valley of Wild Monkeys in Huangshan, People's Republic of China. DNA was extracted from these samples and PCR‐amplified for both mitochondrial and nuclear genes, Cytochrome B and MHC‐DR Beta 1, respectively. These results indicate this is an effective technique for the noninvasive collection of saliva across age and sex class, and dominance rank in a free‐ranging, terrestrial primate species. This device could have wide application for obtaining high‐quality saliva samples from free‐ranging primate populations for use in epidemiological studies, hormonal analyses of HPA axis function, pathogen screening, noninvasive genotyping, and behavioral genetics. Am. J. Primatol. 74:1064‐1070, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


This article was originally published in American Journal of Primatology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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American Journal of Primatology


© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.