A cosmid library made from brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) DNA was examined for representation of 17 distinct microsatellite motifs including all possible mono-, di-, and trinucleotide microsatellites, and the tetranucleotide repeat (GATA)n. The overall density of microsatellites within cowbird DNA was found to be one repeat per 89 kb and the frequency of the most abundant motif, (AGC)n, was once every 382 kb. The abundance of microsatellites within the cowbird genome is estimated to be reduced approximately 15-fold compared to humans. The reduced frequency of microsatellites seen in this study is consistent with previous observations indicating reduced numbers of microsatellites and other interspersed repeats in avian DNA. In addition to providing new information concerning the abundance of microsatellites within an avian genome, these results provide useful insights for selecting cloning strategies that might be used in the development of locus-specific microsatellite markers for avian studies.
Additional publication details
Low abundance of microsatellite repeats in the genome of the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)