Tanja Cafuk: Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) gender determination by polymerase chain reaction. Original scientific student paper. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb. Zagreb. 2010.



The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is the only seal species that inhabits Mediterranean Sea and one of the most endangered animal species of the world. Once found throughout Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea, the Mediterranean monk seal is considered extinct since 1992., although some individuals from the neighboring populations enter the Adriatic Sea and stay there temporarily. Understanding the population structure of the species has got a great significance in preserving the population of a certain habitat, so every gained information considering highly endangered Mediterranean monk seal contributes to better understanding of the species biology. In this study polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been used for identify sex from the bone tissue samples. Genome DNA has been extracted from 2 museum monk seal skull and one from finger falange. For compare, DNA has been extracted from 6 other mammals, known sex. With the four oligonucleotide primers, used in the PCR, different length  fragments (445 bp and 224 bp) have been obtained. Primers were used to simultaneously amplify a part of the sry gene located on the Y chromosome wich exists only in males, and control regions of ZFX/ZFY, which exists in males and females. The sex of 2 units has been successfully determined, while determination sex of one sample has been unsuccessful.