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A review on SNP and other types of molecular markers and their use in animal genetics

Alain Vignal1*, Denis Milan1, Magali SanCristobal1 and André Eggen2

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratoire de génétique cellulaire, Inra, chemin de Borde-Rouge, Auzeville BP 27, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan cedex, France

2 Laboratoire de génétique biochimique et de cytogénétique, Inra, domaine de Vilvert, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas cedex, France

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Genetics Selection Evolution 2002, 34:275-305  doi:10.1186/1297-9686-34-3-275

Published: 15 May 2002


During the last ten years, the use of molecular markers, revealing polymorphism at the DNA level, has been playing an increasing part in animal genetics studies. Amongst others, the microsatellite DNA marker has been the most widely used, due to its easy use by simple PCR, followed by a denaturing gel electrophoresis for allele size determination, and to the high degree of information provided by its large number of alleles per locus. Despite this, a new marker type, named SNP, for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, is now on the scene and has gained high popularity, even though it is only a bi-allelic type of marker. In this review, we will discuss the reasons for this apparent step backwards, and the pertinence of the use of SNPs in animal genetics, in comparison with other marker types.

SNP; microsatellite; molecular marker; genome; polymorphism