Multiplex-endonuclease genotyping approach (MEGA): a tool for the fine-scale detection of unlinked polymorphic DNA markers
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Restriction enzyme-detectable polymorphisms have been used for assessing genetic differences and generating informative genetic markers. The most detailed fingerprinting analyses have been obtained using the AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism) technique, which accesses subsets of polymorphisms at one or two restriction sites. To combine increased discriminatory power with the stringency of polymerase chain reaction amplification, it would be beneficial to access additional independent restriction sites per analysis, and to amplify subsets of DNA restriction fragments with only one pair of oligonucleotide primers. We have now developed a unique approach that permits the simultaneous use of four or more endonucleases in combination with one pair of adapters/primers, and applied it to genotype 21 trypanosome populations to subspecific level. The approach takes advantage of the fact that some endonucleases create cohesive ends that are compatible with the overhang sites created by other endonucleases. We demonstrate the greater resolution of identifiable polymorphic fragments over the conventional ligation-mediated restriction analysis method and discuss the value of the approach as a tool for fine genetic mapping of Trypanosoma brucei. Finally. we propose use of the method for fine characterisation and for identifying co-dominant genetic markers in a variety of other taxa.
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