Tightly linked di- and tri-nucleotide microsatellites do not evolve in complete independence: evidence from linked (TA) n and (TAA) n microsatellites of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

Abstract

In order to understand the dynamics of microsatellite evolution, we have studied allelic variation at a closely linked (TA) n and (TAA) n microsatellite loci in 114 land races of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), sampled worldwide. These two loci are separated by 27 bp. The two loci showed a very high degree of polymorphism and hence the combined length with the genetic diversity of 0.93, 0.90 and 0.98 for (TAA) n , (TA) n and the combined length, respectively. Using the variation data at the linked loci, a standardized index of linkage disequilibrium was also computed (I S A =0.092), which tests the null hypothesis of no linkage and was significant, indicating the presence of linkage disequilibrium. Furthermore, the dynamics of allelic variation showed that there is a threshold combined length, below which both (TAA) n and (TA) n loci evolve independently, and above which, if one locus increase in size, the other closely linked locus has a tendency to decrease its size and vice versa, without change in the overall ratio of (TAA) n and (TA) n allele sizes at the region. This result indicates that there are processes in the cell, which ‘read’ the combined size of the two loci both for proportion and length and determine the direction of tightly linked di- and tri-nucleotide repeat evolution.

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Acknowledgments

The authors’ research was supported by grants to ICARDA from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, Bonn, Germany) and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD, Kuwait).

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Correspondence to M. Baum.

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Communicated by R. Hagemann

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Udupa, S.M., Malhotra, R.S. & Baum, M. Tightly linked di- and tri-nucleotide microsatellites do not evolve in complete independence: evidence from linked (TA) n and (TAA) n microsatellites of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Theor Appl Genet 108, 550–557 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-003-1458-y

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Keywords

  • Microsatellite Locus
  • Allele Size
  • Threshold Size
  • Stepwise Mutation Model
  • Cicer Arietinum