In 1985, Alec Jeffreys reported the development of multilocus DNA fingerprinting by Southern blot‐detection of hypervariable minisatellites or variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) loci. This technology found immediate application to various forensic and scientific problems, including fisheries and aquaculture. By 1989, however, it was recognized by many researchers that inherent problems exist in the application of multilocus fingerprinting to large sample sizes as might occur in fisheries and aquaculture genetic studies. As such, individual VNTRs were cloned for single‐locus DNA fingerprinting. Although single‐locus fingerprinting ameliorates many of the problems associated with multilocus DNA fingerprinting, it suffers from the problem that electrophorectic anomalies of band migration within and between gels necessitates binning of alleles, thus underestimating genetic variability in a given population. Amplification of microsatellite loci by the polymerase chain reaction, however, solved many of the problems of Southern blot‐based DNA fingerprinting. Moreover, microsatellites exhibit attributes that make them particularly suitable as genetic markers for numerous applications in aquaculture and fisheries research: (1) they are abundant in the genome; (2) they display varying levels of polymorphism; (3) alleles exhibit codominant Mendelian inheritance; (4) minute amounts of tissue are required for assay (e.g., dried scales or otoliths); (5) loci are conserved in related species; (6) potential for automated assay. Recent innovations in DNA fingerprinting technology developed over the past 5 years are discussed with special emphasis on microsatellites and their application to fisheries and aquaculture, e.g., behavioural and population genetics of wild species, and selection and breeding programmes for aquaculture broodstock.
Journal of Fish Biology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1995
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