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Mol Biol Evol. 2001 Jul;18(7):1161-7.

Differential distribution of simple sequence repeats in eukaryotic genome sequences.

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  • 1Plant Molecular Biology Unit, Division of Biochemical Sciences, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India.


Complete chromosome/genome sequences available from humans, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were analyzed for the occurrence of mono-, di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide repeats. In all of the genomes studied, dinucleotide repeat stretches tended to be longer than other repeats. Additionally, tetranucleotide repeats in humans and trinucleotide repeats in Drosophila also seemed to be longer. Although the trends for different repeats are similar between different chromosomes within a genome, the density of repeats may vary between different chromosomes of the same species. The abundance or rarity of various di- and trinucleotide repeats in different genomes cannot be explained by nucleotide composition of a sequence or potential of repeated motifs to form alternative DNA structures. This suggests that in addition to nucleotide composition of repeat motifs, characteristic DNA replication/repair/recombination machinery might play an important role in the genesis of repeats. Moreover, analysis of complete genome coding DNA sequences of Drosophila, C. elegans, and yeast indicated that expansions of codon repeats corresponding to small hydrophilic amino acids are tolerated more, while strong selection pressures probably eliminate codon repeats encoding hydrophobic and basic amino acids. The locations and sequences of all of the repeat loci detected in genome sequences and coding DNA sequences are available at http://www.ncl-india.org/ssr and could be useful for further studies.

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