Microsatellites for linkage analysis of genetic traits.
Hearne CM., Ghosh S., Todd JA.
Microsatellites are tandem repeats of simple sequence that occur abundantly and at random throughout most eukaryotic genomes. Since they are usually less than 100 bp long and are embedded in DNA with unique sequence, they can be amplified in vitro using the polymerase chain reaction. Microsatellites are easy to clone and characterize and display considerable polymorphism due to variation in the number of repeat units. This polymorphism is sufficiently stable to use in genetic analyses. Microsatellites are therefore ideal markers for constructing high-resolution genetic maps in order to identify susceptibility loci involved in common genetic diseases.