For the last 30 years, attempts have been made to discriminate among fish populations by using molecular markers. Although some techniques have proved successful in certain circumstances, the consistent trend to newer markers among fishery geneticists highlights the general lack of resolving power observed with older technologies. The last decade has seen the increasing use of satellite DNA in investigations of genetic variability and divergence. Applications to fish and fisheries-related issues initially concentrated on minisatellite single-locus probes. Although minisatellites have successfully addressed a number of fishery-related questions, this class of satellite DNA has not been widely adopted by fishery geneticists. Most of the current research effort is concentrated on another class of satellite DNA called microsatellites. The large interest in microsatellite loci is largely due to the very high levels of variability that have been observed and the ability to investigate this variation using PCR technology. The isolation and application of microsatellites to research fields as diverse as population genetics, parentage analyses and genome mapping are reviewed. Despite the undisputed advantages that the marker possesses, there are a number of potential problems associated with investigating variation at microsatellite loci. Statistical considerations (e.g. appropriate sample sizes, number of loci and the mutation model assumptions on which the estimate is based) have not been considered in detail yet and the problems are often exacerbated in fish species, as some species show very large numbers of alleles at microsatellite loci. These issues and others, e.g. null alleles, are reviewed and possible solutions are proposed
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 22, 2004
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