Summary

A large proportion of our genome is made up of tandemly repeated DNA. The study of this class of genetic variation has proved extremely important to our understanding of the human genome. Variation in number of repeat units provided genetic markers of diversity that were of fundamental importance in efforts to generate a map of the human genome, to try and identify the genetic basis of disease, and to understand human origins and evolutionary relationships. We have seen that classification is possible based on length of the tandemly repeated DNA, ranging from hundreds to thousands of kilobases in satellite DNA, to less than 100 base pairs in microsatellite DNA, with minisatellites of intermediate size.

The recognition that certain minisatellites were hypervariable in length, based on numbers of repeating units, and shared core motifs to enable recognition of multiple

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