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Open Access Hypothesis

Microsatellites grant more stable flanking genes

Reem Joukhadar1 and Abdulqader Jighly2*

Author Affiliations

1 University of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria

2 International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), P.O. Box 5466, Aleppo, Syria

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:556  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-556

Published: 5 October 2012



Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs), are DNA sequences that include tandem copies of specific sequences no longer than six bases. SSRs are ubiquitous in all genomes and highly mutable.

Presentation of the hypothesis

Results from previous studies suggest that flanking regions of SSR are exhibit high stability in a wide range of organisms. We hypothesized that the SSRs ability to discard weak DNA polymerases could be responsible for this unusual stability. . When the weak polymerases are being decayed over SSRs, the flanking sequences would have higher opportunity to be replicated by more stable DNA polymerases. We present evidence of the molecular basis of our hypothesis.

Testing the hypothesis

The hypothesis could be tested by examining the activity of DNA polymerase during and after a number of PCRs. The PCR reactions should be run with the same SSR locus possessing differences in the SSR length. The hypothesis could also be tested by comparing the mutational rate of a transferred gene between two transformations. The first one has a naked T-DNA (transferred DNA), while the second one has the same T-DNA flanked with two SSRs.

Implications of the hypothesis

In any transformation experiment, flanking the T-DNA fragment with SSR sequences would result in more stably transferred genes. This process would decrease the unpredictable risks that may occur because of the mutational pressure on this foreign segment.

Microsatellite; Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR); Polymerase slippage; Transformation