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Mol Biol Evol. 1993 Mar;10(2):342-61.

PCR-based assays of mendelian polymorphisms from anonymous single-copy nuclear DNA: techniques and applications for population genetics.

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Department of Genetics, University of Georgia.


This paper outlines a PCR-based approach for population genetics that offers several advantages over conventional Southern blotting methods for revealing restriction-fragment-length polymorphisms (RFLPs) in nuclear DNA. Primers are constructed from clones isolated from a nuclear DNA library, and these primers subsequently are employed in in vitro syntheses of homologous regions. Amplified products are then screened directly for RFLPs by using gel-staining procedures. Population applications for this PCR-based approach, including potential strengths and weaknesses, are exemplified by two RFLP data sets generated to estimate (a) male-mediated gene flow in the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and (b) geographic population genetic structure in the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica). Restriction assays of amplified products from 14 or 15 independent primer pairs in each species revealed polymorphisms at several loci that proved highly informative in the population genetic analyses. In general, the Mendelian polymorphisms produced by this PCR-based approach will provide useful genetic markers for population studies, particularly in situations where simpler and less expensive allozyme methods have failed, for whatever reason, to provide adequate information.

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