The distribution and frequency of microsatellite loci in Drosophila melanogaster


Dr Charles Aquadro Tel: +1-607-254-4838, Fax: +1-607-255-6249, E-mail:


We report the results of a comprehensive search of Drosophila melanogaster DNA sequences in GenBank for di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide repeats of more than four repeat units, and a DNA library screen for dinucleotide repeats. Dinucleotide repeats are more abundant (66%) than tri- (30%) or tetranucleotide (4%) repeats. We estimate that 1917 dinucleotide repeats with 10 or more repeat units are present in the euchromatic D. melanogaster genome and, on average, they occur once every 60 kb. Relative to many other animals, dinucleotide repeats in D. melanogaster are short. Tri- and tetranucleotide repeats have even fewer repeat units on average than dinucleotide repeats. Our WorldWide Web site ( posts the complete list of 1298 microsatellites (≥ five repeat units) identified from the GenBank search. We also summarize assay conditions for 70 D. melanogaster microsatellites characterized in previous studies and an additional 56 newly characterized markers.