We have isolated, characterized and mapped 33 dinucleotide, three trinucleotide and one tetranucleotide repeat loci from the four major chromosomes of Drosophila pseudoobscura. Average inferred repeat unit length of the dinucleotide repeats is 12 repeat units, similar to D. melanogaster. Assays of D. pseudoobscura and populations of its sibling species, D. persimilis, using 10 of these loci show extremely high levels of variation compared with similar studies of dinucleotide repeat variation in D. melanogaster populations. The high levels of variation are consistent with an average mutation rate of approximately 10−6 per locus per generation and an effective population size of D. pseudoobscura approximately four times larger than that of D. melanogaster. Consistent with allozymes and nucleotide sequence polymorphism, the dinucleotide repeat loci reveal minimal structure across four populations of D. pseudoobscura. Finally, our preliminary recombinational mapping of 24 of these microsatellites suggests that the total recombinational genome size may be larger than previously inferred using morphological mutant markers.
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