Genetic Characteristics of 207 Microsatellite Markers in the Korean Population and in other Asian Populations

  • Choi, Su-Jin (Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Song, Hye-Kyung (Graduate Program in EcoScience, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Jeong, Jae-Hwan (Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Skeletal Diseases Genome Research Center) ;
  • Jeon, In-Ho (Department of Orthopedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Yoon, Ho-Sung (Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Chung, Ki Wha (Department of Biological Science, Kongju National University) ;
  • Won, Yong-Jin (Graduate Program in EcoScience, Ewha Womans University) ;
  • Choi, Je-Yong (Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Skeletal Diseases Genome Research Center) ;
  • Kim, Un-Kyung (Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungpook National University)
  • Received : 2007.09.19
  • Accepted : 2007.10.30
  • Published : 2008.04.30


Microsatellites, short tandem repeats, are useful markers for genetic analysis because of their high frequency of occurrence over the genome, high information content due to variable repeat lengths, and ease of typing. To establish a panel of microsatellite markers useful for genetic studies of the Korean population, the allele frequencies and heterozygosities of 207 microsatellite markers in 119 unrelated Korean, Indian and Pakistani individuals were compared. The average heterozygosity of the Korean population was 0.71, similar to that of the Indian and Pakistani populations. More than 80% of the markers showed heterozygosity of over 0.6 and were valuable as genetic markers for genome-wide screening for disease susceptibility loci in these populations. To identify the allelic distributions of the multilocus genetic data from these microsatellite markers, the population structures were assessed by clustering. These markers supported, with the most probability, three clustering groups corresponding to the three geographical populations. When we assumed only two hypothetical clusters (K), the Korean population was separate from the others, suggesting a relatively deep divergence of the Korean population. The present 207 microsatellite markers appear to reflect the historical and geographical origins of the different populations as well as displaying a similar degree of variation to that seen in previously published genetic data. Thus, these markers will be useful as a reference for human genetic studies on Asians.


Allele Frequency;Heterozygosity;Korean;Microsatellites;Population


Supported by : Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE), Ministry of Health and Welfare, Korea Institute of Industrial Technology Evaluation and Planning, Rural Development Administration


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