Distribution and characterization of microsatellites in the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) genome.

This study generates data concerning the genome of a flightless species of bird, the emu. We examined and ultimately rejected the following hypotheses:

  1. Microsatellites are randomly distributed throughout the emu genome.
  2. The relative order of abundance of dinucleotides will be constant across genomes.
  3. Interspersion distances for a given dinucleotide will be equal across vertebrate genomes.
  4. In all genomes, a dinucleotide will be more frequent than any trinucleotide.
  5. The percentage of single-copy DNA will remain the same in emus as in other volant birds.

A cosmid library representing 4.48% of the emu genome was probed with 23 microsatellites. Hybridizations were scored on a scale of 0-3. The average insert size, approximately 40 kb, was used to determine frequency and interspersion. The cosmid library was probed with genomic DNA to determine the percent single copy. Co-occurrence frequencies and confidence intervals were compared to expected using chi-squared. The genome is estimated to contain a microsatellite repeat every 48 kb. Of 1632 clones probed for single-copy DNA, 643 displayed maximal hybridization, 220 displayed moderate hybridization, and 202 had minimal hybridization. After 3 days, 567 showed no hybridization.

PMID: 12140269 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

J Hered. 2002 Mar-Apr;93(2):100-6.

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