Survey of simple sequence repeats in completed fungal genomes

Mol Biol Evol. 2005 Mar;22(3):639-49. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msi057. Epub 2004 Nov 24.


The use of simple sequence repeats or microsatellites as genetic markers has become very popular because of their abundance and length variation between different individuals. SSRs are tandem repeat units of 1 to 6 base pairs that are found abundantly in many prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. This is the first study examining and comparing SSRs in completely sequenced fungal genomes. We analyzed and compared the occurrences, relative abundance, relative density, most common, and longest SSRs in nine taxonomically different fungal species: Aspergillus nidulans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Fusarium graminearum, Magnaporthe grisea, Neurospora crassa, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and Ustilago maydis. Our analysis revealed that, in all of the genomes studied, the occurrence, abundance, and relative density of SSRs varied and was not influenced by the genome sizes. No correlation between relative abundance and the genome sizes was observed, but it was shown that N. crassa, the largest genome analyzed had the highest relative abundance of SSRs. In most genomes, mononucleotide, dinucleotide, and trinucleotide repeats were more abundant than the longer repeated SSRs. Generally, in each organism, the occurrence, relative abundance, and relative density of SSRs decreased as the repeat unit increased. Furthermore, each organism had its own common and longest SSRs. Our analysis showed that the relative abundance of SSRs in fungi is low compared with the human genome and that longer SSRs in fungi are rare. In addition to providing new information concerning the abundance of SSRs for each of these fungi, the results provide a general source of molecular markers that could be useful for a variety of applications such as population genetics and strain identification of fungal organisms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fungi / genetics*
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics*
  • Phylogeny*