Comparison of minisatellites


In the class of repeated sequences that occur in DNA, minisatellites have been found polymorphic and became useful tools in genetic mapping and forensic studies. They consist of a heterogeneous tandem array of a short repeat unit. The slightly different units along the array are called variants. Minisatellites evolve mainly through tandem duplications and tandem deletions of variants. Jeffreys et al. devised a method to obtain the sequence of variants along the array in a digital code, and called such sequences maps. Minisatellite maps give access to the detail of mutation processes at work on such loci. In this paper, we design an algorithm to compare two maps under an evolutionary model that includes deletion, insertion, mutation, tandem duplication and tandem deletion of a variant. Our method computes an optimal alignment in reasonable time; and the alignment score, i.e., the weighted sum of its elementary operations, is a distance metric between maps. The main difficulty is that the optimal sequence of operations depends on the order in which they are applied to the map. Taking the maps of the minisatellite MSY1 of 609 men, we computed all pairwise distances and reconstruct an evolutionary tree of these individuals. MSY1 (DYF155S1) is a hypervariable locus on the Y chromosome. In our tree, the populations of some haplogroups are monophyletic, showing that one can decipher a micro-evolutionary signal using minisatellite maps comparison.

Proceedings of the sixth annual international conference on Computational biology - RECOMB ’02
alignment duplication minisatellites tandem repeat