Marker: A piece of DNA that lies on a chromosome so close to a gene that the marker and the gene are inherited together. A marker is thus an identifiable heritable spot on a chromosome. A marker can be an expressed region of DNA (a gene) or a segment of DNA with no known coding function. All that matters is that the marker can be detected and trailed.
The term "marker" may be used in other contexts such with a blood marker or a tumor marker.
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