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Autori: Paun O, Hörandl E
Editorial: Genetics, 174, p.387-398, 2006.
Microsatellites are widely used in genetic and evolutionary analyses, but their own evolution is far from simple. The mechanisms maintaining the mutational patterns of simple repeats and the typical stable allele-frequency distributions are still poorly understood. Asexual lineages may provide particularly informative models for the indirect study of microsatellite evolution, because their genomes act as complete linkage groups, with mutations being the only source of genetic variation. Here, we study the direction of accumulated dinucleotide microsatellite mutations in wild asexual lineages of hexaploid Ranunculus carpaticola. Whereas the overall number of contractions is not significantly different from that of expansions, the within-locus frequency of contractions, but not of expansions, significantly increases with allele length. Moreover, within-locus polymorphism is positively correlated with allele length, but this relationship is due solely to the influence of contraction mutations. Such asymmetries may explain length constraints generally observed with microsatellites and are consistent with stable, bell-shaped allele-frequency distributions. Although apomictic and allohexaploid, the R. carpaticola lineages show mutational patterns resembling the trends observed in a broad range of organisms, including sexuals and diploids, suggesting that, even if not of germline origin, the mutations in these apomicts may be the consequence of similar mechanisms.
Cuvinte cheie: microsatellite, apomixis, mutation, evolution, molecular marker