Microsatellites in Cetaceans: An Overview - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles The Open Marine Biology Journal Year : 2008

Microsatellites in Cetaceans: An Overview

Vincent Bourret
Mathias Macé
  • Function : Author
Maxime Bonhomme
  • Function : Author
Brigitte Crouau-Roy
  • Function : Author


This paper presents a comprehensive overview of the published literature on microsatellites studied in cetaceans from 1989 to 2007. We inventoried 246 loci isolated from 18 and amplified in 51 cetacean species representing 11 families. The majority of loci (68%) were dinucleotide (CA) repeats, which were also shown to be on average more variable than tetranucleotide repeats. For each of these loci and the 1610 locus/species combinations, we present the species in which the markers were isolated and tested, specific diversity parameters (number of alleles, expected and observed heterozygosities), together with the primer sequences, the size range of the PCR products and the GenBank accession number. Simple analyses were performed on the assembled data and the widespread use of cross-species amplification, an important source of microsatellites in cetaceans, is discussed using laboratory data from Stenella coeruleoalba. No significant ascertainment bias was detected when considering all dinucleotide or tetranucleotide loci. This comprehensive database should help to inform those working on population and conservation genetic studies in most cetacean species.

Dates and versions

hal-04152705 , version 1 (05-07-2023)



Vincent Bourret, Mathias Macé, Maxime Bonhomme, Brigitte Crouau-Roy. Microsatellites in Cetaceans: An Overview. The Open Marine Biology Journal, 2008, 2 (1), pp.38-42. ⟨10.2174/1874450800802010038⟩. ⟨hal-04152705⟩
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