Rapid DNA mapping by fluorescent single molecule detection

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Abstract

DNA mapping is an important analytical tool in genomic sequencing, medical diagnostics and pathogen identification. Here we report an optical DNA mapping strategy based on direct imaging of individual DNA molecules and localization of multiple sequence motifs on the molecules. Individual genomic DNA molecules were labeled with fluorescent dyes at specific sequence motifs by the action of nicking endonuclease followed by the incorporation of dye terminators with DNA polymerase. The labeled DNA molecules were then stretched into linear form on a modified glass surface and imaged using total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. By determining the positions of the fluorescent labels with respect to the DNA backbone, the distribution of the sequence motif recognized by the nicking endonuclease can be established with good accuracy, in a manner similar to reading a barcode. With this approach, we constructed a specific sequence motif map of lambda-DNA. We further demonstrated the capability of this approach to rapidly type a human adenovirus and several strains of human rhinovirus.

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