Microsatellites or simple sequence repeat (SSR) polymorphisms are used widely in the construction of linkage maps in many species. High levels of polymorphism coupled with the ease of analysis of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have resulted in this type of maker being one of the most widely used for genetic analysis. In this paper we describe 58 polymorphic bovine microsatellites that were isolated from insert size selected bovine genomic libraries. Primer sequences, number of alleles, and heterozygosity levels in cattle reference families are reported. Chromosomal locations for 47 of these microsatellites as well as for 7 previously described systems derived from entries in the Genbank or EMBL databases have been determined. The markers map to 24 syntenic or chromosomal locations. Polymorphic bovine microsatellites were estimated to occur, on average, every 320 kb, and there is no evidence of clustering in the genome. Thirty of the bovine-derived microsatellite systems gave specific and polymorphic products in sheep, adding to the number of useful markers in that species.
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