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Tandem-repetitive DNA hybridization probes based on a putative human recombination signal detect multiple polymorphic minisatellite fragments in human DNA. The genetic complexity of the resulting individual-specific DNA "fingerprints" was investigated by studying a large sibship affected by neurofibromatosis and a more extensive pedigree segregating for two different hemoglobinopathies. The segregation of up to 41 different heterozygous DNA fragments from each parent could be analyzed in a single sibship, using two different repeat probes. Most of these variable DNA fragments could not be paired as alleles, to an extent which suggests that the DNA fingerprints are together derived from approximately 60 heterozygous loci (approximately 120 variable fragments), only a proportion of which can be scored in a given individual. Two or three of the DNA fragments detected by one probe showed tight linkage and may be derived from long minisatellite(s) that are cleaved to produce more than one polymorphic DNA fragment. Excluding allelic and linked DNA fragments, almost all remaining scorable fragments segregated independently, allowing up to 34 unlinked loci to be examined simultaneously. These loci are scattered over most or all of the human autosomes. Minisatellite probes are therefore suitable for rapid marker generation and can be applied to linkage analysis in human pedigrees.


Journal article


Am J Hum Genet

Publication Date





11 - 24