We isolated and characterized 16 microsatellite loci from the Louisiana pine snake, Pituophis ruthveni. Loci were screened in 24 individuals from locations throughout its distribution in Louisiana and Texas. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 4 to 12, observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.200 to 0.875, and the probability of identity ranged from 0.043 to 0.298. We examined cross-species amplification at these loci in P. catenifer (bullsnakes and gopher snakes) and P. melanoleucus (pine snakes). These new markers provide tools for examining the conservation genetics of this species complex. Louisiana pine snakes face numerous threats: population densities are extremely low and their natural habitat has been severely altered and fragmented. In southern Canada, P. catenifer is at the northern extreme of its range and limited by the availability of suitable over-wintering sites. Hence, for these two species reduction of heterozygosity, potential for inbreeding, and increased effects of genetic drift are all of considerable conservation concern.
Kwiatkowski, Matthew; Somers, Christopher M.; Poulin, Ray G.; Rudolph, D. Craig; Martino, Jessica; Tuberville, Tracey D.; Hagen, Cris; and Lance, Stacey L., "Development and characterization of 16 microsatellite markers for the Louisiana pine snake, Pituophis ruthveni, and two congeners of conservation concern" (2010). Faculty Publications. 161.