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Trends Ecol Evol. 1993 Aug;8(8):285-8. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(93)90256-O.

Microsatellites and kinship.

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David Queller and Joan Strassmann are at the Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, PO Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251, USA.


Many evolutionary studies, particularly kinship studies, have been limited by the availability of segregating genetic marker loci. Microsatellites promise to alleviate these problems. Microsatellite loci are segments of DNA with very short sequence motifs repeated in tandem; their often numerous alleles differ in the number of these repeat units. They are very common in eukaryotic DNA and can be amplified by the polymerase chain reaction, which allows the use of minute or degraded DNA samples. The alleles can be scored consistently and compared unambiguously, even across different gels.

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