Significance of satellite DNA in DNA fingerprinting A DNA satellite is a region that consists of short DNA sequences repeated many times. The variation between individuals in the lengths of their DNA satellites forms the basis of DNA fingerprinting.
DNA satellites are of two types, i.e. microsatellites and minisatellites. Their characteristic that makes them useful for identification is that they are highly polymorphic. The length of each satellite in DNA is inherited.
The length of satellite regions are highly variable between people. These form small peaks during density gradient centrifugation and thus are invaluable for identification purposes.