LISBON, Dec. 10 (PNA/Xinhua) — Scientists from the University of Coimbra in Portugal are leading an international team developing a method for determining the sex of penguin species more quickly, cheaply and accurately than current techniques, according to a statement from the Portuguese university on Tuesday.
“In pioneering and inter-disciplinary research, researchers from the University of Coimbra, together with colleagues from three countries (Britain, Spain and Bulgaria) are exploring the use of flow cytometry as a method of determining the sex of penguin species and assessing the potential of applying this technique to other animals,” the university said.
There are many species in the animal kingdom where it is difficult to distinguish male from female individuals and the usual methods for determining sex involve expensive and often lengthy genetic testing.
“Flow cytometry is a fast and precise technology, which makes it possible to measure and assess a gigantic number of sells at the same time and to obtain detailed information about the behavior of each cell,” the statement said.
Results of the research so far have accurately identified the sex of two species of penguin in 80 percent of cases.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology and the main author of the article was Joao Loureiro of Coimbra University. (PNA/Xinhua)