Taiwan Polymorphic Marker Database (TPMD) (http://tpmd.nhri.org.tw/) is a marker database designed to provide experimental details and useful marker information allelotyped in Taiwanese populations accompanied by resources and technical supports. The current version deposited more than 372 000 allelotyping data from 1425 frequently used and fluorescent-labeled microsatellite markers with variation types of dinucleotide, trinucleotide and tetranucleotide. TPMD contains text and map displays with searchable and retrievable options for marker names, chromosomal location in various human genome maps and marker heterozygosity in populations of Taiwanese, Japanese and Caucasian. The integration of marker information in map display is useful for the selection of high heterozygosity and commonly used microsatellite markers to refine mapping of diseases locus followed by identification of disease gene by positional candidate cloning. In addition, our results indicated that the number of markers with heterozygosity over 0.7 in Asian populations is lower than that in Caucasian. To increase accuracy and facilitate genetic studies using microsatellite markers, we also list markers with genotyping difficulty due to ambiguity of allele calling and recommend an optimal set of microsatellite markers for genotyping in Taiwanese, and possible extension of genotyping in other Mongoloid populations.
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