Microsatellites/Tandem Repeats database

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Tandem Repeats are copies of DNA sequences which lie adjacent to each other. When those repeats are short, we will use the term Microsatellite Repeats: a variety of simple di-, tri-, tetra-, and pentanucleotide tandem repeats (usually less than 100 bases long). Other names we may used to describe this repetitive sequences areVariable Number Tandem Repeats, Short  Sequence Repeats (SSRs), Exact Tandem Repeats (ETRs), Repetitive DNA, SSR (Simple Sequence Repeats),  Simple Tandem Repeats (STR)

We have developed a Microsatellite Repeats finder, and it has been used for detection of microsatellites in all up to date sequenced prokaryotic chromosomes. The data obtained is searchable throw this site.

To search presence of microsatellite repeats in one specific genome, select the genera in main page and the genome in the corresponding form. Percentage of mismatches in the form  may  be 0, 0.1, 0.2 or 0.3, which represents percentage of mismatches allowed within the tandem repeats. When this number is 0, we will get perfect tandem repeats (Exatc Tandem Repeats or ETRs). The number of microsatellite repeats is very small in prokaryotes when comparing to eukaryotes. In fact, no Exact Tandem Repeats were detected in several prokaryotic genomes. A link in results page will allow easily designing primers (with primer3) for amplification of a DNA fragments which includes the microsatellite repeat.

this data may be used for research, our basic purpose is educational:  users will be able to simulate microsatellite based genotyping, so that they will be able to easily understand the technique. We encourage user to design primers and to perform PCR amplifications (also available in this site) to check whether it could be used to discern between genomes within the species.  Often, the PCR simulation tool will not yield amplicons when checking a genome different to that one used for primer design. In fact, the usage of tandem repeats for epidemiology purposes in bacteria has been limited to a few species.

A more complete microsatellites database is available at  Multiple Locus VNTR Analysis (MLVA) website. Users will easily find differences between results at MLVA and our database. The following facts are specially important to understand those differences.

  • Many microsatellites detected in our site when percentaje of allowed mismatches is 0 are not shown at MLVA website; they are included in a bigger microsatellite obtained when mismatches are allowed. In our site, a sequence may be included in different microsatellite repeats when number of mismatches allowed are increased.
  • At MLVA website, some microsatellietes with only 2 complete repeated sequences are shown, while minimum number repeats must be at least 3 in our database.


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Bayliss CD, Dixon KM, Moxon ER. Simple sequence repeats (microsatellites): mutational mechanisms and contributions to bacterial pathogenesis. A meeting review. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2004 Jan 15;40(1):11-9. [PubMed]

G. Benson, Tandem repeats finder: a program to analyze DNA sequences. Nucleic Acids Research (1999) 27(2):573-580.  [PubMed]
Le Fleche P, Hauck Y, Onteniente L, Prieur A, Denoeud F, Ramisse V, Sylvestre P, Benson G, Ramisse F, Vergnaud G.. A tandem repeats database for bacterial genomes: application to the genotyping of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis. BMC Microbiol. 2001;1(1):2. [BMC]

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