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Biotechniques. 2007 Jan;42(1):77-83.

SNP-based chromosomal copy number ascertainment following multiple displacement whole-genome amplification.

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The Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA.


Whole genome amplification by multiple displacement amplification (MDA) offers investigators using precious genomic DNA samples a high fidelity method for amplifying nanogram quantities of DNA several thousandfold. This becomes especially important for the modemrn day genomics researcher who more and more commonly is applying today's genome scanning technologies to patient cohort samples collected years ago that are irrecoverable and invariably in short supply. We present evidence here that MDA-prepared genomic DNA includes artifacts of chromosomal copy number that resemble copy number polymorphisms (CNPs) upon analysis of the DNA on the Affymetrix 10K GeneChip. The study of CNPs in both health and disease is a rapidly growing area of research, however our current understanding of the relevance of CNPs is incomplete. Our data indicate that utilization of whole genome-amplified samples for analysis heavily reliant on accurate copy number retention could be confounded if the genomic DNA sample was subjected to MDA. We recommend that small amounts of patient cohort DNA stocks be set aside and not subjected to whole genome amplification in order to facilitate the unbiased determination of chromosomal copy numbers when desired.

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