STSs can be easily detected by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using specific primers. For this reason they are useful for constructing genetic and physical maps from sequence data reported from many different laboratories. They serve as landmarks on the developing physical map of a genome.
When STS loci contain genetic polymorphisms (e.g. simple sequence length polymorphisms, SSLPs, single nucleotide polymorphisms), they become valuable genetic markers, i.e. loci which can be used to distinguish individuals.
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