Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis is becoming increasingly popular as a method for generating molecular markers for population genetic applications. For practical considerations, it is generally assumed in population studies that AFLPs segregate as dominant markers, i.e., that present and absent are the only possible states of a given locus. We tested the assumption of dominance in natural populations of the damselfly Nehalennia irene (Hagen) (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Electro-blotted AFLP products from 21 samples were probed with individual markers. Eleven markers were analyzed, of which two were monomorphic and nine were polymorphic. Only two of the polymorphic markers behaved in a strictly dominant manner. The remaining seven polymorphic markers displayed various degrees of codominance, with 2-10 visible alleles in the sample. Of the three markers displaying the highest degree of variability, two contained microsatellite repeat tracts. Our results suggest that the assumption of dominance is unfounded. As a result, AFLP analysis may be unsuitable for estimating several important population genetic parameters, including genetic diversity.

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Keywords AFLP, Damselfly, Dominant markers, Insect, Microsatellite, Population genetics
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Journal Genome
Wong, A, Forbes, M, & Smith, M.L. (2001). Characterization of AFLP markers in damselflies: Prevalence of codominant markers and implications for population genetic applications. Genome, 44(4), 677–684. doi:10.1139/gen-44-4-677