Genetic characteristics of 207 microsatellite markers in the Korean population and in other Asian populations

Su Jin Choi, Hye Kyung Song, Jae Hwan Jeong, In Ho Jeon, Ho Sung Yoon, Ki Wha Chung, Yong Jin Won, Je Yong Choi, Un Kyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microsatellites, short tandem repeats, are useful markers for genetic analysis because of their high frequency of occurrence over the genome, high information content due to variable repeat lengths, and ease of typing. To establish a panel of microsatellite markers useful for genetic studies of the Korean population, the allele frequencies and heterozygosities of 207 microsatellite markers in 119 unrelated Korean, Indian and Pakistani individuals were compared. The average heterozygosity of the Korean population was 0.71, similar to that of the Indian and Pakistani populations. More than 80% of the markers showed heterozygosity of over 0.6 and were valuable as genetic markers for genome-wide screening for disease susceptibility loci in these populations. To identify the allelic distributions of the multilocus genetic data from these microsatellite markers, the population structures were assessed by clustering. These markers supported, with the most probability, three clustering groups corresponding to the three geographical populations. When we assumed only two hypothetical clusters (K), the Korean population was separate from the others, suggesting a relatively deep divergence of the Korean population. The present 207 microsatellite markers appear to reflect the historical and geographical origins of the different populations as well as displaying a similar degree of variation to that seen in previously published genetic data. Thus, these markers will be useful as a reference for human genetic studies on Asians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-304
Number of pages4
JournalMolecules and Cells
Issue number2
StatePublished - 30 Apr 2008


  • Allele frequency
  • Heterozygosity
  • Korean
  • Microsatellites
  • Population


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