Mutational processes of simple-sequence repeat loci in human populations.


Journal Article

Mutational processes of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in complex genomes are poorly understood. We examined these processes by introducing a two-phase mutation model. In this model, most mutations are single-step changes, but infrequent large jumps in repeat number also occur. We used computer simulations to determine expected values of statistics that reflect frequency distributions of allele size for the two-phase model and two alternatives, the one-step and geometric models. The theoretical expectations for each model were tested by comparison with observed values for 10 SSR loci genotyped in the Sardinian population, whose genetic and demographic histories have been previously reconstructed. The two-phase model provided the best fit to the data for most of these loci in this population. In the analysis we assumed that the loci were neutral and that this population had undergone rapid population growth. Recent observations made for unstable trinucleotide repeats support our suggestion that frequent small changes and rare large changes in repeat number represent two distinct classes of mutation at SSR loci. We genotyped the same 10 loci in Egyptian and sub-Saharan African samples to assess the utility of SSRs for studying the divergence of populations and found that estimates of interpopulation distances from SSRs were similar to those derived from analysis of mitochondrial DNA.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Di Rienzo, A; Peterson, AC; Garza, JC; Valdes, AM; Slatkin, M; Freimer, NB

Published Date

  • April 1, 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 91 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 3166 - 3170

PubMed ID

  • 8159720

Pubmed Central ID

  • 8159720

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.91.8.3166


  • eng