Lessons from a beetle and an ant: coping with taxon-dependent differences in microsatellite development success

J Mol Evol. 2007 Sep;65(3):304-7. doi: 10.1007/s00239-007-9012-1. Epub 2007 Aug 29.


Microsatellites are powerful markers often isolated de novo for species yet to be investigated. Enriched genomic libraries are usually used for isolation purposes. We critically evaluate the outcome of an enrichment-based protocol applied to two insect species (the ant Lasius austriacus and the beetle Pityogenes chalcographus) which yielded contrasting numbers of suitable loci. Our findings of differences in microsatellite isolation are consistent with the available data on differences in genomic characteristics across these taxa. In the beetle repeated isolation of identical motifs, difficulties in primer development, and multibanded products caused loss of most candidate clones. We identified critical steps during marker development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ants / classification*
  • Ants / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods*
  • Coleoptera / classification*
  • Coleoptera / genetics*
  • Genomic Library
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods