Microsatellites: evolution and contribution

Methods Mol Biol. 2013;1006:1-13. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-389-3_1.


Microsatellites are codominant molecular genetic markers, which are universally dispersed within genomes. These markers are highly popular because of their high level of polymorphism, relatively small size, and rapid detection protocols. They are widely used in a variety of fundamental and applied fields of biological sciences for plants and animal studies. Microsatellites are also extensively used in the field of agriculture, where they are used in characterizing genetic materials, plant selection, constructing dense linkage maps, mapping economically important quantitative traits, identifying genes responsible for these traits. In addition microsatellites are used for marker-assisted selection in breeding programs, thus speeding up the process. In this chapter, genomic distribution, evolution, and practical applications of microsatellites are considered, with special emphasis on plant breeding and agriculture. Moreover, novel advances in microsatellite technologies are also discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Breeding / methods
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetic Markers / genetics*
  • Genomics / methods*
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Microsatellite Repeats / genetics*
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified


  • Genetic Markers