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updated: April 19, 2024


A marker (largely synonymous with the word “landmark” and often referred to as a genomic marker or a genetic marker) is a DNA sequence, typically with a known location in a genome. Markers can reflect random sequences, genomic variants or genes. Markers are used as signposts (or landmarks) in the construction of DNA and genome maps. Markers can also be used to track inheritance of traits or disease risk in families.


Marker. Marker is one of those terms that translates quite well to other settings in which we use this term. For example, I'm working on getting my garden ready for the spring and putting down plant markers for my onions, rhubarb, and strawberries. A marker in the genome is just a map of a location that anyone can use to point to a location of some significance.

Lucia Hindorff, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Lucia Hindorff, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Lead Extramural Training Program Director

Training, Diversity and Health Equity Office