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Genet Res Int. 2014;2014:691759. doi: 10.1155/2014/691759. Epub 2014 Apr 7.

Application of microsatellite markers in conservation genetics and fisheries management: recent advances in population structure analysis and conservation strategies.

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National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR) Cochin Unit, CMFRI Campus, Cochin, Kerala 682 018, India ; JFK Medical Center, Edison, NJ 08820, USA.


Microsatellites are the most popular and versatile genetic marker with myriads of applications in population genetics, conservation biology, and evolutionary biology. These are the arrays of DNA sequences, consisting of tandemly repeating mono-, di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide units, which are distributed throughout the genomes of most eukaryotic species. Microsatellites are codominant in nature, highly polymorphic, easily typed, and Mendelian inherited, all properties which make them very suitable for the study of population structure and pedigree analysis and capable of detecting differences among closely related species. PCR for microsatellites can be automated for identifying simple sequence repeat polymorphism. Small amount of blood samples or alcohol preserved tissue is adequate for analyzing them. Most of the microsatellites are noncoding, and therefore variations are independent of natural selection. These properties make microsatellites ideal genetic markers for conservation genetics and fisheries management. This review addresses the applications of microsatellite markers in conservation genetics and recent advances in population structure analysis in the context of fisheries management.

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