Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

Christopher E. Hill


The purpose of this study was to improve our understanding of the mutational processes that act upon microsatellite DNA and the DNA surrounding the microsatellite. We amplified and obtained the DNA sequence of five alleles from three passerine species that contained the microsatellite locus Mme 12: three alleles from seaside sparrows, one allele from a song sparrow, and one allele from a Nelson's sharp-tailed sparrow. We also obtained a song sparrow sequence from Genbank. We compared all sequences found to the song sparrow sequence from Genbank and found step-wise mutation in the microsatellite region and several point mutations as a result of substitution, insertion, or deletion in the flanking regions. Mutations of greater than one base were also found within the flanking regions when comparing species. We also observed polymorphism among different alleles between species in order to analyze whether a species sequence that contains more microsatellite repeats also tends to be more polymorphic than species with less repeats as evidenced by previous studies. We found that the song sparrow sequence from Genbank which had eight different alleles did indeed have more repeat units (twelve) than the seaside sparrow which contained only two different alleles and had fewer repeat units (three.)