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Genetics. 1999 Oct;153(2):943-7.

A low mutation rate for chloroplast microsatellites.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Genetics, Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, United Kingdom.


We used chloroplast simple sequence repeats (cpSSRs) to examine whether there is any variation present in the chloroplast genome of Pinus torreyana (Parry ex Carrière) that may previously not have been detected using RFLPs. Analysis of 17 cpSSR loci showed no variation, which is consistent with previous cpRFLP work and confirms that the species is descended from an original, highly monomorphic population following a bottleneck. This lack of biological variation in the chloroplast genome of P. torreyana allowed us to estimate the mutation rates at cpSSR loci as between 3. 2 x 10(-5) and 7.9 x 10(-5). This estimate is lower than published mutation rates at nuclear SSR loci but higher than substitution rates elsewhere in the chloroplast genome.

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