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AbstractMicrosatellites are repeating sequences of 2–6 base pairs of DNA. Currently, they are used as molecular markers in many organisms, specifically in genetic studies analyzing kinship and population structure. In addition, they can be used to study gene duplication and/or deletion. Although they are used in studies on microorganisms including fungi, bacteria, protists, and archaea, it appears that these genetic markers are not being utilized to their full microbiological potential. Microsatellites have many advantages over other genetic markers currently in use as they are in general species specific, and therefore, cross-contamination by nontarget organisms is rare. Furthermore, microsatellites are suitable for use with fast and cheap DNA extraction methods, with ancient DNA or DNA from hair and fecal samples used in noninvasive sampling, making them widely available as a genetic marker. Microsatellites have already proven to be a useful tool for evolutionary studies of pathogenic microorganisms such as Candida albicans and Helicobacter pylori, and the onset of new sequencing techniques (such as 454, PACBIO, and mini-ion sequencing) means the ability to detect such markers will become less time consuming and cheaper, thus further expanding their potential to answer important microbial ecology questions.
CitationSweet, M. J., L. A. Scriven and I. Singleton (2012). Chapter Five - Microsatellites for Microbiologists. In M. G. a. S. S. Geoffrey ed. Advances in Applied Microbiology. Academic Press. 169-207.
JournalAdvances in Applied Microbiology