Chloroplast microsatellites: new tools for studies in plant ecology and systematics

Jim Provan, W. Powell, P.M. Hollingsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

465 Citations (Scopus)
188 Downloads (Pure)


The nonrecombinant, uniparentally inherited nature of organelle genomes
makes them useful tools for evolutionary studies. However, in plants, detecting
useful polymorphism at the population level is often difficult because of the
low level of substitutions in the chloroplast genome, and because of the slow
substitution rates and intramolecular recombination of mtDNA. Chloroplast
microsatellites represent potentially useful markers to circumvent this problem
and, to date, studies have demonstrated high levels of intraspecific variability.
Here,we discuss the use of these markers in ecological and evolutionary
studies of plants, as well as highlighting some of the potential problems
associated with such use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-147
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Ecology & Evolution
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2001


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