Detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms within the Listeria genus using an ‘asymmetric’ fluorogenic probe set and fluorescence resonance energy transfer based-PCR

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AimsWe describe a novel and inexpensive fluorescence energy transfer (FRET)-based PCR protocol to distinguish single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the genus Listeria.Methods and ResultsSequence information for the 16S rRNA gene of representative Listeria species was used to design genus-specific primers and two species-specific probes that differed in sequence by one single nucleotide. The probes were 5′ labelled with either fluorescein or Texas Red, quenched with a shorter yet complementary 3′ dimethyl-amino-phenyloazo benzoic acid (DABCYL) labelled oligonucleotide, and then incorporated into a previously reported ‘asymmetric’ FRET-based PCR detection protocol.ConclusionsListeria monocytogenes could be readily distinguished from other members of the Listeria genus after PCR amplification and measurement of endpoint fluorescence at two different wavelengths.Significance and Impact of the StudyThe relatively low cost and high flexibility of this system will benefit laboratories in their efforts to develop rapid and specific methods to detect minor sequence differences between related microorganisms.

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