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"microsatellites"

David MacHugh dmachugh at mail.tcd.ie
Wed Jan 29 15:38:12 EST 1997


In article <5cnhjm$g0v at mserv1.dl.ac.uk>, "Boris Martchenko"
<bomar at rva.stud.pu.ru> wrote:

> Hi all:
> 
> Could anyone tell me who is the author of term "microsatellites" and is it
> the same that "simple sequences"?
> (refers is appreciated)
> 
> Thanks,
> Boris

As far as I know, the term "microsatellite" was first coined for
polymorphic CA-TG simple sequence regions by Litt & Luty (1989).  Two
other papers describing this new class of DNA marker appeared at around
the same time (one in the same issue of the American Journal of Human
Genetics).  These other papers were Weber & May (1989) and Tautz (1989). 
Litt & Luty seem to be the first workers to coin the term "microsatellite"
however.

In relation to the other part of your question - a simple sequence repeat
region is essentially a microsatellite locus (if it's polymorphic).  The
term "microsatellite" has been extended to include tri-, tetra- and
pentanucleotide motifs also.

Some of the other acronyms used to describe microsatellites I have
encountered include:

SSLP - Simple Sequence Length Polymorphism
SSR - Simple Sequence Repeat
STR - Simple Tandem Repeat
VNDR - Variable Number Dinucleotide Repeat

(Any others out there?)


Litt, M., and J. A. Luty, 1989 A hypervariable microsatellite revealed by
in vitro amplification of a dinucleotide repeat within the cardiac muscle
actin gene. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 44: 397-401.

Weber, J. L., and P. E. May, 1989 Abundant class of human DNA
polymorphisms which can be typed using the polymerase chain reaction. Am.
J. Hum. Genet. 44: 388-396.

Tautz, D., 1989 Hypervariability of simple sequences as a general source
for polymorphic DNA markers. Nucl. Acids Res. 17: 6463-6471.

Hope this helps...

David.

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