Development and characterization of 16 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the highly invasive ascidian, Ciona savignyi.
The Pacific transparent ascidian Ciona savignyi, which is considered native to Japan and possibly northern Asia, has successfully invaded coasts of temperate regions and even Southern Hemisphere. The significantly negative effects on local biodiversity caused by invasions of this ascidian have resulted in challenges in biological conservation. In order to study its dispersal dynamics, here we developed and characterized 16 polymorphic microsatellite markers. Variation evaluation showed the number of alleles ranged from two to 11, and the observed and expected heterozygosity varied from 0.033 to 0.697 and from 0.033 to 0.867, respectively. These markers will be useful for studying dispersal dynamics and associated population genetic structure during fast spread of C. savignyi.