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Heredity (Edinb). 2003 May;90(5):350-8.

Signatures of selection? Patterns of microsatellite diversity on a chromosome containing a selected locus.

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Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9PS, UK.


This paper explores patterns of genetic diversity near a locus known to have been under selection. The myostatin gene (GDF-8) has been shown to be associated with double muscling, a phenotype selected for in a number of cattle breeds. We examined population genetic parameters for microsatellite loci at varying distances from GDF-8 in double-muscled (DM) and non-double-muscled (non-DM) cattle breeds in order to assess patterns of diversity. A theoretical analysis was also performed to predict the patterns of diversity expected under different scenarios. We found differences in the patterns of heterozygosity, allele diversity and linkage disequilibrium between DM and non-DM breeds. However, there were some exceptions to the predicted patterns. These are discussed in light of the histories of the breeds and the potential for using microsatellite diversity for mapping trait genes in livestock populations.

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