A high-resolution, fluorescence-based, semiautomated method for DNA fingerprinting
Review articleOpen access

AbstractWe describe a fluorescence-based method for the automated analysis of DNA fragments on polyacrylamide gels. A single-stranded oligonucleotide primer (18-mer) with a fluorochrome covalently bound to its 5′-end is annealed to a synthetic oligonucleotide to create a double-stranded oligonucleotide linker with a 5′-overhang complementary to a restriction enzyme site. Cosmid or plasmid DNA is digested with the appropriate restriction enzyme and then ligated to the fluorochrome-labeled linker. The labeled restriction fragments are loaded on a denaturing polyacrylamide gel in a commercially available DNA sequencer. As the restriction fragments migrate through the gel, they intersect a laser beam which excites the fluorochrome-labeled fragment. Fluorescence emission data are captured on a computer in real time and analyzed after the completion of electrophoresis. Fragment length is nearly linearly related to migration time. This method offers very near single-base resolution up to 400 bases and the ability to quantitate fragment size up to 2000 bases. The fluorochrome-labeling chemistry relies on straightforward enzymatic reactions and can be performed in a single reaction tube. Because four different fluorochromes can be used, each of 16 lanes on the gel can be used to analyze four different digest reactions, one in each color. One of the fluorochromes can be used to label size standards in each lane, eliminating interlane variability and allowing more precise estimates of fragment size. We apply the method to the analysis of overlapping cosmids.

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