Characterization of a panel of highly variable minisatellites cloned from human DNA

Ann Hum Genet. 1987 Oct;51(4):269-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.1987.tb01062.x.


Five of the most variable loci detected in human DNA by hybridization with DNA fingerprint probes have been cloned and characterized. Each locus consists of a tandem-repetitive minisatellite, with repeat units ranging in length from 9 to 45 base pairs depending on the locus. All of these cloned minisatellites act as locus-specific hybridization probes, and detect extremely variable Mendelian loci with heterozygosities ranging from 90 to 99%. These five hypervariable loci, together with a previously-isolated minisatellite designated p lambda g3, are dispersed over four autosomes (chromosomes 1, 5, 7 and 12). Syntenic pairs on chromosomes 1 and 7 show no detectable pair-wise linkage, and thus these hypervariable loci show no evidence of clustering within the genome and should provide valuable markers for mapping inherited disease. The locus-specific minisatellites act as very sensitive hybridization probes, and can be pooled to detect several hypervariable loci simultaneously. The applications of these probes in individual identification, paternity testing and analysis of cell chimaerism are discussed, and are illustrated by an analysis of forensic specimens from two victims who had been sexually assaulted and murdered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Satellite*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Hybrid Cells
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid


  • DNA, Satellite
  • Genetic Markers