minisatellite DNA

minisatellite DNA

a form of polymorphic DNA, comprising a variable number of tandem repeats, with repeat units of up to about 100 NUCLEOTIDES in length, but typically 15–20bp. In humans, minisatellites form clusters up to about 5kb in length and are highly polymorphic due to the variation in repeat number. Telomeric DNA (see TELOMERE is an example of minisatellite DNA.

Minisatellite DNA is also called a VARIABLE NUMBER TANDEM REPEAT (VNTR).

The variability in repeat number at a specific VNTR LOCUS, makes analysis of minisatellite DNA useful for DNA FINGERPRINTING. The repeat region is often flanked by specific RESTRICTION ENZYME sites, so that it can be cut out of the chromosome and the number of repeats determined by a Southern blot (see SOUTHERN TRANSFER) and HYBRIDIZATION with a PROBE containing the repeat sequence. The DNA profile (fingerprint) generated can be individual-specific. If a number of different VNTR loci are analysed in this way the fingerprints become more discriminatory, making them particularly useful in DNA FORENSICS.

Another type of tandemly repeated DNA is the MICROSATELLITE. Microsatellite clusters are smaller than minisatellite clusters.

Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
mansoni infection in rodent faecal samples, and it targeted a sequence corresponding to a mitochondrial minisatellite DNA region [25].
The use of minisatellite DNA variation for stock identification of chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta.
Smaller regions (made up of repeat units [less than]65 bp [base pairs]) are known as minisatellite DNA and can occur throughout the genome (Jeffreys et al.
Genetic variation at minisatellite DNA loci among North Pacific populations of steelhead and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
With the DNA testM using two types of minisatellite DNA, the chance of a mistaken identification is less than 5 X 10.sup.-.sup.19.
Population structure and identification of North Pacific Ocean chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) revealed by an analysis of minisatellite DNA variation.
Population and species variation of minisatellite DNA in Plantago.
Minisatellite DNA is a class of repetitive nuclear DNA consisting of variable numbers of tandemly repeated copies (or VNTRs) of sequence that occur between restriction endonuclease restriction sites.
Minisatellite DNA, RAPDs and allozymes have also been used to evaluate translocation options for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis), a species suffering from habitat fragmentation of old-growth pine in the southeastern United States Minisatellites were used to identify population structure in a small South Carolina population in need of translocation so that a subsequent population viability analysis could estimate the number of individuals needed to maintain a stable population (Haig et al.
Minisatellite DNA is untranscribed and apparently nonfunctional at the phenotypic level, thus, assumptions of neutral and unconserved variation are not unreasonable (Jarman and Wells 1989).