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Q Rev Biophys. 2002 May;35(2):169-200.

A review of DNA sequencing techniques.

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  • 1Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


The four best known DNA sequencing techniques are reviewed. Important practical issues covered are read-length, speed, accuracy, throughput, cost, as well as the automation of sample handling and preparation. The methods reviewed are: (i) the Sanger method and its most important variants (enzymic methods); (ii) the Maxam & Gilbert method and other chemical methods; (iii) the Pyrosequencing method--DNA sequencing in real time by the detection of released pyrophosphate (PPi); and (iv) single molecule sequencing with exonuclease (exonuclease digestion of a single molecule composed of a single strand of fluorescently labelled deoxynucleotides). Each method is briefly described, the current literature is covered, advantages, disadvantages, and the most suitable applications of each method are discussed.

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