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Technical report. Optimizing probe selection in directed heteroduplex analysis using HDprobe 1.1.

Directed heteroduplex analysis (DHDA) has proven to be a powerful technique for rapid geotyping in human populations. This strategy should also have widespread utility in differentiating closely related organisms of medical and public health importance through identification of DNA sequence polymorphisms. Identifying an optimal probe sequence for use in DHDA has required empirical testing of both the positive and negative strands of a number of potential probes. To identify optimal probes more efficiently, a computer program has been developed that predicts the number of potential stable and unstable mismatches between a probe and its target sequences in DHDA. This information can then be used to predict--from among a group of potential probes--which one will be the most successful in differentiating closely related homologues of a targeted gene sequence. This approach was tested on a number of probe and target sequences derived from the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 gene of the West African black fly, Simulium damnosum sensu lato. The number of unstable mismatches predicted to occur in a given heteroduplex by the computer program was found to be important in differentiating closely related species. Therefore, this strategy is useful in identifying informative probes in the development of new DHDA-based assays.[1]


  1. Technical report. Optimizing probe selection in directed heteroduplex analysis using HDprobe 1.1. Zimmerman, P.A., Shapiro, M., Tang, J., Nutman, T.B., Unnasch, T.R. BioTechniques (1995) [Pubmed]
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