Table 3 Comparison of minisatellites and microsatellites
MinisatellitesMicrosatellites
Number within the human genomeApproximately 1500Approximately 500000
Locations within our genomeMostly near the ends of chromosomes (telomeres)Scattered throughout the length of all chromosomes
Unit repeat length1Approximately 10 to >100 bp(12) 2 to approximately 6 bp
Number of repeat units within the arrayUsually from approximately 60 to >1000Usually ∼6 to ∼14
Used inDNA fingerprintingDNA profiling; genetic linkage studies
Also known asVariable number tandem repeats (VNTR)VNTR, short tandem repeats (STR), simple sequence repeats (SSR)
  • 1 Note that repeats with unit lengths of 7–9 bp may be classified as micro- or minisatellites depending on their biological behaviour.

  • 2 Many (but not all) authors include mononucleotide repeats in the category of microsatellites.