, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 250-266
Date: 12 Dec 2009

Mutational Dynamics of Microsatellites

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Abstract

Microsatellites are a ubiquitous class of simple repetitive DNA sequences, which are widespread in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes. The use of microsatellites as polymorphic DNA markers has considerably increased both in the number of studies and in the number of organisms, primarily for genetic mapping, studying genomic instability in cancer, population genetics, forensics, conservation biology, molecular anthropology and in the studies of human evolutionary history. Although simple sequence repeats have been extensively used in studies encompassing varied areas of genetics, the mutation dynamics of these genome regions is still not well understood. The present review focuses on the mutational dynamics of microsatellite DNA with special reference to mutational mechanisms and their role in microsatellite evolution.